FA honour life-saving linesman

By David Watters

After being hailed a hero for saving a player's life during an EVO-STIK League game at the end of the season, the name of match official Zharir Mustafa was on everybody's lips again at Non-League Finals Day.

The North West-based official is pictured at Wembley on Sunday collecting a special award from the Football Association for administering life-saving first aid treatment to Trafford's Danny Frost at Colwyn Bay in April after the striker suffered a serious head injury sliding into a perimeter wall.

Mustafa, who made national headlines at the time for his quick-thinking at Llanelian Road when the player swallowed his tongue, was presented with a special plaque during lunch for the weekend's four finalists and club and league officials from across the country by one of the elder statesmen of refereeing, former FIFA referee David Elleray.

Known by his proud refereeing colleagues as 'Jacko', the match official was delighted to be a special guest in the Royal Box at the national stadium for the finals of the Buildbase FA Vase and FA Trophy but played down his actions after collecting his award from Elleray, now a member of the International Football Association Board.

Centre of attention: Zharir Mustafa collects his award at Wembley

Centre of attention: Zharir Mustafa collects his award at Wembley

"I've had a great day and just did what anyone would do with the training, the most important thing was the player, that he was okay and made a full recovery," said Mustafa who was also given a standing ovation by the EVO-STIK League's clubs and players during the live broadcast of the 2018 Northern Premier League Player of the Year Awards on Facebook in April.

Frost, 29, was hurt in the 65th minute of the EVO-STIK League North clash before the fixture was abandoned. After a night in hospital he was thankfully given a clean bill of health following a brain scan and other checks.

Along with Trafford chairman John Eadie, the former Barnsley, Bradford Park Avenue, Gainsborough Trinity, Ossett Albion, Ossett Town, Pontefract Colliery, Shaw Lane, Tadcaster Albion and Winterton Rangers forward publicly thanked Mustafa and the medical teams of both clubs for saving his life in the days following the incident.

Images courtesy of @leftarmdragon & @FCTrafford/Twitter

Recognition: Former FIFA referee David Elleray congratulates Zharir Mustafa after the presentation

Recognition: Former FIFA referee David Elleray congratulates Zharir Mustafa after the presentation

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Deserved: the match official shows off his special award

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