Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley explains why Wigan's Leam Richardson deserved November manager award after he saw off Sheffield Wednesday and Oxford rivals

Pompey boss Danny Cowley believes Wigan counterpart Leam Richardson deserved to be named the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for November – rather than him.

By Mark McMahon
Friday, 10th December 2021, 5:00 pm

That’s after the Latics man’s quick actions helped save the life of striker Charlie Wyke, who collapsed during training on November 22.

The 28-year-old forward suffered a cardiac arrest.

But the quick thinking of Richardson and club doctor Jonathan Tobin to perform CPR on Wyke prevented tragedy from happening as they managed to stabilise his condition.

The former Sunderland man is now back home after spending 10 days in hospital, where he was fitted with an implantable defibrillator to provide him with protection on his road to recovery.

Wyke is hoping to return to training next year and continue a career that has seen him score 103 goals over the past six and a bit seasons.

And it’s for that very reason why Blues head coach Danny Cowley believes the latest monthly managerial accolade should have went to Richardson instead.

Speaking to the News, he said: ‘Leam would definitely have been much more deserving than us to win it with what he did for Charlie Wyke and saving his life.

Wigan manager Leam Richardson Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images

‘That goes well beyond the win, loss, draw column, doesn't it.

‘You kind of put yourself in that position and we actually did last Friday off the back of the Charlie Wyke incident.

‘We did some training on CPR and using the defibrillator machines to make sure, if we were to be put in that situation, that we would be ready to act.

‘I have huge admiration for Leam Richardson - both as a person and as a manager.

Wigan striker Charlie Wyke suffered a cardiac arrest during training. Picture: Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

‘For what he did for Charlie in that moment!

‘You always wonder how you would react in that situation.

‘As a teacher I've been there two or three times - not to that extent - with Children having fits etc and they are difficult situations.

‘You have to rely on your instincts really and that's why you have to keep making sure you are well trained, well versed, so that when or if the worst was to happen then you are able to react appropriately.’

Pompey boss Danny Cowley with his Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month award for November Jason Brown/JMP

Cowley picked up the November award after Pompey won four a drew one of their five league games over the course of the month.

Richardson, Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore and Oxford United’s Karl Robinson were also nominated.

But none were able to match Cowley’s performance in terms of results on the pitch as he became the first Blues manager since Paul Cook in April 2017 to pick up such an award.

After being discharged from hospital, Wyke said: ‘My life has been saved by the actions of the gaffer (Richardson) and the club doctor Jonathan Tobin, and my story may well save another life.

‘As you are aware, I collapsed during training. I suffered a cardiac arrest and required CPR, and I am told it was only the quick response of the gaffer to initiate the resuscitation process and then the continuation from the doc that saved my life.

‘I will be forever grateful that due to their actions – and those of my team-mates and other staff – I am here to talk to about the experience.’