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banner Sunday, 25 November, 2001, 01:29 GMT
Aussie coach suffers heart attack
Australian coach Chris Anderson in training
Anderson complained of chest pains during the first half
By BBC Sport Online's Saj Chowdhury in Wigan

On any other day, Australia's players and fans would be shouting from the rooftops after yet another Ashes series win.

But news that Kangaroo coach Chris Anderson had suffered a heart attack during the deciding Test, dampened all spirits.

Anderson, who spent 24 hours in Leeds General Infirmary earlier this week, was taken to a Wigan hospital after complaining of chest pains during the first half of the match at the JJB Stadium.


We've had one in soccer and now we've got one in rugby league - it's not good
David Waite
GB coach

After Australia's 28-8 victory over Great Britain, the visitors' tour manager Greg Pearce said that his coach was conscious, receiving oxygen and would remain in hospital until further tests had been carried out.

And Australia Rugby League chief executive Geoff Carr said: "We've been in contact with his wife, and his son is with him."

Great Britain coach David Waite became aware of Anderson's problems just before half-time.

"Our best wishes go to Chris. We've had one in soccer and now we've got one in rugby league - it's not a good thing," he said, drawing comparisons with Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier's recent illness.


We were thinking about Chris and then realised that we also had to think about performing well in the second half
Brad Fittler

Kangaroo captain Brad Fittler said much of the gloss had been taken from his team's win by the condition of their popular coach.

Wearing a sombre look, rather than a victorious smile, he said: "The news left me a bit confused as to what to do."

"We were thinking about Chris and then realised that we also had to think about performing well in the second half.

Fittler, who originally opted not to tour because of safety fears as a result of the America terrorist attacks, was delighted that his team had managed to win the series.

Tough challenge

"When we left Australia we knew it was going to be a tough challenge," he added.

"We were under-strength, there was a lot of inexperience and there was also concern in Australia about whether we should tour for seven or three weeks.

"But we came through all that, and I really can't tell you how satisfied I am."

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BBC Sport's Dave Woods
"The whole of rugby league will be praying he makes a full recovery"
Links to more Ashes Series stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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