FORMER York City full-back Graeme Law has praised his old club for supporting the charity that saved his brother’s life earlier this year.

Law’s 33-year-old brother Rich suffered a heart attack on the pitch in April during the York Minster Engineering League match between his team Bishopthorpe United reserves and Church Fenton.

He only survived due to the availability of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance following the quick and calm thinking of several others at the scene.

Rich was among the crowd at York College last weekend as the York City charity squad, sponsored by club sponsors Benenden, played against Bishopthorpe in a fund-raising fixture.

Despite facing the likes of ex-City professionals Richard Cresswell, Jonathan Greening, Iain Dunn, Chris Tate and Graeme Law, himself, along with former Leeds and Harrogate Town midfielder Mark Ford, Bishopthorpe ran out 5-4 winners thanks to goals from Barry Jones (2), Matty Blackburn, Josh Derry and Joe Barrit.

Greening and Tate replied for the Minstermen, while Dunn would have claimed a hat-trick had his first-half penalty not hit the post.

But, although few on the pitch gave that impression, it was an occasion when the result was of secondary importance as a total of £750 was collected for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Recalling the debt his family owe to the rapid response emergency service, which is available to five million people across the county, former Scotland under-19 international Law said: “With cardiac arrests, speed is vital and, because it happened to Rich over the Easter weekend, going through Bishopthorpe and town to get to the hospital could have taken any length of time.

“But the air ambulance was able to get him from the pitch to Leeds General Infirmary in less than ten minutes. That obviously played a huge role in making sure Rich is still with us today.

“We are also thankful to all the other people who helped him on the day as well. It was very much a case of when it’s not your time, it’s not your time.

“He collapsed 20 minutes into the game and there was a lad from the opposition team who had just taken a first-aid course who ran over straight away and started CPR on him. There was also an off-duty doctor cycling past, so she came over and there was a first responder just three minutes down the road who got there very quickly too.

“We were lucky the air ambulance was available as well and everybody who helped Rich did a great job.”

The Minstermen’s charity team was launched in March and have played a series of matches since with Law outlining the importance of such initiatives to grateful and worthy organisations.

“Yorkshire Air Ambulance rely on donations for funding the upkeep of their helicopter and that costs £10,000 a day due to flying out three times a day on average,” he explained. “That’s why something like the charity match is so beneficial and important and why there are - and should be - so many things done for the charity because they do save lives.

“The team is a great idea. A good few fans turned up, especially to see the likes of Jonno and Cressy playing because they went on to achieve a lot of things in the game.

“For them to give up their time is fantastic. The club have supported the community ever since the McGill family got involved.

“It’s a community football club and it always was when I was there as a player. I liked going out to events, even if it was just presenting awards.

“Past players doing things like playing charity games really helps out and a lot of money was raised on the day.”

Despite playing his first game of any kind in two years, 30-year-old Law is also volunteering his services for future fixtures.

“It’s been a while since I kicked a ball, but I enjoyed it and it was good to be back in a York shirt to be honest,” he admitted. “The last time was in 2006 and I joined the club when I was ten.

“I still live here and the club’s result will always be the first I look out for.”

For the day job, though, the former Dundee and Farsley Celtic right-back has swapped a life in football for a position educating York’s young coaching hopefuls.

Having graduated with a physical education and sports coaching degree from York St John while playing for Stalybridge, Law also combined turning out for Tamworth with his Masters studies at the University of Chester.

He is now doing a PHD at the same university, while lecturing sports coaching and sociology of sport at York St John.

On that transition, he enthused: “It’s been a big change for me, but I absolutely love it. I want to be a full-time lecturer once I’ve done my PHD.

“I also did some work at Tamworth and Peterborough as a coach and I think that’s it’s beneficial for the students that I’ve undertaken those roles in a professional environment and got all my coaching badges. For a lot of my friends who have dropped out of football, the big thing is to try and find something that maybe gives them a little bit of comparable enjoyment but, with lecturing, I feel I’ve found something that’s equally as enjoyable as playing.”

Anybody wanting to make a donation to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance can visit

Clubs interested in playing against City’s charity side, meanwhile, should contact, outlining details of the team, home venue and dates available to play.

GOALSCORING midfielder James Berrett has moved clear at the top of The Press Player of the Year standings.

Berrett received three points towards the contest as our man of the match during Tuesday night’s 1-0 win over his former club Yeovil when he was the 63rd-minute match-winner.

Others to be recognised with points were Russell Penn (two) and Dave Winfield (one) as our second and third-highest rated performers respectively.

Berrett also moved within a point of Reece Thompson on The Press’ August Player of the Month leaderboard having topped our online man-of-the-match poll.

That honour is worth two bonus points, which were bagged by Thompson, meanwhile, following last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Hartlepool.

The Press points from that game were shared between our man-of-the-match Vadaine Oliver (three), Winfield (two) and Luke Summerfield (one).

To be in with a chance of presenting The Press Player of the Month award for August on the pitch at Bootham Crescent, please register your man-of-the-match choice from today’s game at Exeter via the @daveflettpress Twitter account or by emailing

The Press Player of the Year standings: Berrett 6, Summerfield 4, Oliver 3, Thompson 3, Winfield 3, Flinders 2, Penn 2, Hyde 1.

The Press Player of the Month for August standings: Thompson 9, Berrett 8, Summerfield 4, Oliver 3, Winfield 3, Flinders 2, Penn 2, Hyde 1.

Goals: Berrett 2, Summerfield 1, Thompson 1.

Assists: Summerfield 2, Thompson 1, Tutonda 1.

Bad boys: Berrett, Oliver, Penn, Summerfield, Winfield all one yellow card.