Heart condition teen is top scorer

James Doherty

James Doherty - Credit: Archant

A TEENAGER who suffers from a heart condition and has a defibrillator fitted under his ribcage has finished the football season as his team’s top goalscorer.

James Doherty, who plays for Codicote’s under-18 team, capped his final season in youth football by helping his side to clinch the Mid Herts Division One league title and finished the season by scooping the Divisional Golden Boot award.

James Doherty, who has been diagnosed with long QT syndrome, suffered a cardiac arrest in October 2009 at the age of 13.

He was pronounced clinically dead for around 10 minutes when his heart stopped beating while playing tennis.

Quick-thinking bystanders and ambulance staff were able to get James’ heart beating again using basic life support and a defibrillator – a machine used to restart someone’s heart with an electric shock.

The village side also won the Herts under-18s County Cup back in April, but just lost out on a treble with defeat in the Divisional Cup final.

It is hoped that some of the youngsters, including James Doherty, can catch the eye of first team manager Liam Errington for a place in his Spartan South Midlands League squad come the start of the season. Chairman of Codicote Youth Football Club, Jim Bundy, is proud of the side’s achievements.

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He said: “It was an excellent way for these lads to finish youth football. They created a piece of club history for themselves in being the first Codicote Youth side to clinch a Herts County Cup, in probably the most competitive age group.

“For myself a little bit of personal satisfaction as my own father is now no longer with us after lifting the Under 18 County Cup back in 1982 for Welwyn Garden City, so a nice way to finish my involvement in youth football.”