Football legend Wynton Rufer counts blessings after being saved by stranger

A week after a Kiwi football legend narrowly avoided death, he's been discharged from hospital and is counting his blessings.

Wynton Rufer was the star of the 1982 All Whites World Cup team who went on to play professionally in Switzerland and Germany and was named Oceania player of the century.

He's a lover of all sports, he says, so last Sunday he took his German friend to a Breakers basketball game.

But things took a turn while they were Lime scootering home and turned into a side street in central Auckland.

"And then I don't remember the rest," Mr Rufer told Newshub. "I woke up and I'm in hospital. I had no pain or anything, no warning."

He'd had a heart attack.

"I've got these amazing scars here on my calf muscles, my lower back, arm where obviously I've blacked out."

He says his mate was in shock and a nearby woman tried to help - until Nick Moss turned up and asked the woman to keep talking to the emergency services on the phone.

"I said just keep talking to them and get them here quickly and I can do CPR, I've done a course recently and I'll give it a crack at least," says Mr Moss.

Thankfully everything he'd learned in training came back to him.

"He wasn't breathing, he didn't look like he had a pulse. [I was] just doing the chest compressions and breathing for him and it probably went for about five minutes until the ambulance came."

His actions kept the fit 56-year-old alive.

"It's a wake-up call for everyone that I had a heart attack," says Mr Rufer. "It's still wow."

His mother had a triple-bypass at 52, but he's in good shape. He's putting the attack down to stress and is counting his blessings.

"The good lord didn't want to take me yet."

He says he'll be taking it very easy for a few months to make sure he sticks around as long as he can.

Mr Rufer now trains and mentors young players and is working to get some Kiwi footballers to Germany and on the ground at half-time during a Werder Bremen game.


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