Tributes have been paid by fans and clubs after former Bury player Martyn Forrest dies aged 43, confirmed on Friday afternoon.
Forrest, who was once a Shakers player and captain, sadly lost his long standing battle with a brain tumour, and messages of support have been written to his family and friends at this tough time.
Martyn played for Bury between 1996 and 2003 before having spells at the likes of Leigh RMI, Droylsden while also making 287 appearances for Radcliffe between 2004-2012, scoring 10 goals.
It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write this message to let you know Martyn has passed away. He was an amazing…
Lisa Forrest wrote via her Facebook account: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write this message to let you know Martyn has passed away. He was an amazing husband and a fantastic dad. We will miss you so so much.
“Not many people are aware that when Martyn collapsed on the pitch at Radcliffe Borough back in 2008 he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
“After undergoing brain surgery 3 times, radiotherapy and chemotherapy we were given the unfortunate news in March 2022 that the treatment was no longer working.
“After a few months of suffering he is now at his resting place where he can look down on his two boys and see them grow up into amazing men.
“I cannot say how much his fun loving personality is going to be missed by so many people. Rest in peace my wonderful husband.”
Bury FC said: 🔵⚪️ ONCE A SHAKER ALWAYS A SHAKER ⚪️🔵 We are saddened to hear the news of former captain Martyn Forrest’s passing. He showed bravery on and off the pitch and will be remembered fondly. We send our thoughts to his friends and family.
Bury AFC wrote: Our thoughts today are with the family and friends of former Bury FC player and captain, Martyn Forrest who sadly lost his long standing battle with a brain tumour.
As mentioned, he collapsed and swallowed his tongue during a match, but was saved by a linesman — who was an off-duty doctor — and two club physiotherapists.
Martyn Forrest had been playing for Radcliffe for 20 minutes in their non league match against Durham City at Stainton Park in 2008 when he began staggering in agony.
Assistant referee and Manchester-based consultant Mr Charles Davidson-Ahme, together with Radcliffe physio Ronnie Evans and Durham’s Gary Miller, ran to his aid.
Referee Peter Norris ordered players of both teams to leave the pitch as a crowd of more than 100 were left silent.
Mr Davidson-Ahme, Mr Evans and Mr Miller cleared the player’s airway, but as they were doing so, he suffered an epileptic fit.
The 42 year old doctor, who has been a referee and assistant referee for 17 years, explained: “The lad had just been going forward for an attack and his manager was shouting instructions to him.
“He was trying to shout something back when all of a sudden I saw he was stuttering and couldn’t get his words out.
“I knew straight away that something was wrong. He was on his feet and he was shaking, so I ran on to the pitch and told the ref to stop the match. The two team physios were there before he hit the ground.
“The player had swallowed his tongue, and one of the physios grabbed him and had his fingers in his mouth, trying to pull it out. He almost snapped his fingers off because he was biting, and the physio’s fingers were bleeding.”
Radcliffe FC are sad to learn of the passing of former player, Martyn Forrest.
Martyn made 287 appearances for Radcliffe between 2004-2012, scoring 10 goals.
— Radcliffe FC (@radcliffeboro) June 24, 2022
A plastic tool made for clearing airways was used to free Forrest’s tongue.
The doctor said: “I held his tongue down and his airways were open. He was unconscious and shaking because there was no oxygen getting to his brain, but when I opened his airway he stopped.
“When he came round the first thing he said was ‘What are we doing?’ and I talked him through it and put him in the recovery position.”
Dr Davidson-Ahme said: “It could’ve been caused by a bang on the head or dehydration, but it was probably just one of those things. He was very lucky to have qualified people and good equipment there to help him straight away.”
After a stoppage lasting 15 minutes, Forrest was helped to his feet as the relieved crowd clapped and he was able to walk slowly off the pitch. He was taken to hospital by ambulance, but didn’t have to stay overnight. The match was abandoned.
Forrest made a full recovery and said: “I think it was more traumatic for the other people than it was for me.
“It was a stroke of luck having a doctor there as a linesman. I have not had chance to have a word with him yet. I’m going to talk to him and thank him for what he did — which has probably saved my life.”
Tributes have been paid by fans and clubs after the former Bury player dies aged 43 after suffering from a brain tumour…
@Gymbo20944400: The life and soul, legend and warrior. condolences to his family. RIP Fozzy, once a Shaker always a Shaker – always remembered and never forgotten, especially you 💙
@JonGardiner7: An absolutely legend and friend. The life and soul of every party. when I think of you I smile. You will be sadly missed. ❤️ Keep them laughing up there pal. The gardiner family ❤️
@maccers1968: RIP young man 🙏
@74Oliver: A proper good lad. Will be sorely missed no doubt about that. Left his mark on a lot of people with memories never to be forgotten. Thinking of his family at this time 💙🤍💙
Andy Dickinson: So sad. A great friend and player, being so far away hurts even more. RIP mucker
Jon Newby: So so sorry to read this. He was one of the biggest personalities in the dressing room when I played alongside him at Bury & he was a great captain & leader for us. Devastating news 😔 Foz 💙💙💙
Carl Lomax: What a great footballer great captain and most of a great lad rip fozzy u will be missed 💙💔
Andy Dickinson: Foz, my friend, from silly nights out to being the Captain of Bury FC. I live half way around the world,I’m gonna miss ya.xxxx
Matthew Horne: I can’t believe what I’m reading. Fozzy was a great guy and have very fond memories of him as we were growing up playing football. My thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.
Lee Duffy: I’m sorry to hear this, I never knew he was going such a difficult period in his life. He was a top man and definitely someone I’m grateful I had the opportunity share a pitch and dressing room with. Rest in peace fozzy! 💔
Stephen Gunby: Horrific news, a great and energetic player but most importantly, a great lad to have in the dressing room. Rest in peace mate
Peter Gray: So saddened to read this. Truly comical and fun loving bloke. Everything was better when ” little Fozzy” was in the house. Rest in peace Martyn, you’ll be missed by everyone ❤️
Steven Andrew: So shocked and saddened to read this, Fozzy was a great teammate, an excellent player and most importantly a top man. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. X
Rowan Hines: Incredibly sad news to hear, I can only echo what all of the lads have said here. Fozzy was a brilliant teammate, footballer and above all top man. Rest in peace Fozzy x 💔
Gareth Sanderson: Great memories from the woodbank days and training together at Blackburn rovers. Rest in peace Fozzy 😢.
Emma Harrison: Can’t believe this.. Such a character and so full of life. So very sorry for your loss. Sleep peacefully, Foz xx