BRAVERY in helping to save the life of a Pompey fan in ‘war zone’ conditions has won a police officer a major award – and the admiration of the victim’s friends.
Andrew Bache – known as Pepe – was brutally attacked by Russian thugs with a metal bar in Marseille, France, during the Euro 2016 football tournament.
The 51-year-old was left in a coma and has only late this year been moved to a rehabilitation centre to recover after months in hospitals.
Now PC Stuart Dickerson has been recognised for his life-saving actions by the Royal Humane Society.
After the attack on June 11, PC Dickerson and another PC formed a ring of steel to keep away attackers.
A French officer, Patrice Martin, gave CPR as Mr Bache had had a cardiac arrest.
Speaking publicly for the first time about the incident, PC Dickerson said: ‘Out of the injured, he was the worst.
‘We had to pull our police bibs on and help the French paramedics who arrived at the scene. I soon found one of his friends and managed to find out how he was injured, which made it easier, and I had to translate to the paramedics.
‘There was a point where I did think the worst – a defibrillator was used to half-an-hour.
‘It was upsetting but the training kicked in over there. It was like a war zone when it happened.’
He added: ‘I am immensely proud of saving someone’s life and pleased to hear the progress he has made.
‘And out of all the people, we were both from Portsmouth.’
PC Dickerson was handed the RHS Commendation on Parchment by a senior officer.
Giving PC Dickerson the award, Chief Superintendent Steve Neil of Northumbria Police, said: ‘I’d underline the outstanding bravery and professionalism of PC Dickerson in what was the worse football violence I’ve ever witnessed in my 29 years’ service. Both in Marseille and through the entire deployment to France he was an absolute credit to Hampshire Constabulary.’
Mr Bache is in a rehabilitation centre and last month staff hoped he would move to a self-contained flat on his own.
He sustained extensive life-changing brain injuries and a lung infection and was left in a coma.
Pal Colin Major, 47, of Hilsea, praised PC Dickerson’s actions.
‘He did more than the call of duty,’ Colin said. He added: ‘All his friends thank him. I have every admiration.’
Hampshire police said the officer played a key role in saving Mr Bache.