Sports commentator and massive Chester FC fan Jonathan Legard endured a 14-hour ambulance journey back from the French Alps after falling ill during a family holiday.
Jonathan, who is well known among Blues fans, had been in intensive care suffering from pneumonia and pleurisy after becoming unwell as he, wife Kate and their three teenagers were driving to a ski resort just before Christmas.
By the time they arrived at their destination – where they were joining other family members – he was in a bad way and had to be ‘blue-lighted’ to hospital by ambulance.
It took time to sort out the insurance cover to pay for the ambulance back to the UK so he and Kate remained stuck in France meaning a miserable start to the new year.
Then on Monday (January 8) Jonathan arrived home after what Kate described as a ‘gruelling’ road ambulance journey that took 12-14 hours. He is now recovering at a private London hospital until a bed becomes available in a specialist NHS respiratory unit.
Jonathan, who covered F1 for BBC radio and television over many years, tweeted at the end of last week: “Never usually do personal stuff here. But pneumonia and pleurisy changed that. Out of intensive care and walking at last. Back in UK by the weekend then hard work to get properly fit begins. Support from #bbc #f1 #airrace friends has been overwhelming #merciducoeur.”
His wife Kate has thanked Martin Brundle, chairman of the Grand Prix Trust – the charitable arm of Formula 1 – and F1 chief medical officer Dr Peter Hamlyn who organised the stay in the private facility.
She told The Chronicle: “I would like to thank Martin Brundle and the Grand Prix Trust and the amazing support from his friends and colleagues and the wonderful doctors and nurses in France.”
Although poorly, she said her 56-year-old husband, who regularly commentates on the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, was ‘tough’.
Born in Cardiff, Legard grew up in Chester after moving to the city in 1966. Today he lives with his family in west London.
Despite his illness Jonathan has continued to follow his beloved Blues who are currently struggling and languishing in the relegation zone. But he was buoyed up by Chester’s 1-0 victory over Ebbsfleet United at the weekend, tweeting: “Need a lie-down. A glimmer of hope that all is not lost yet.”
In a message of support, fellow Blues fan Mark Dowling tweeted him: “Glad to hear you’re on the mend. I admire your dedication, even when poorly, to following Chester FC’s misfortunes throughout the festive period.”