By Sam Elliott
IF anyone was surprised by Bradley Quinton’s calm and measured response to his Braintree Town team’s five-goal collapse at East Thurrock United in midweek, read on.
Quinton has football flowing through his body. Any defeat hurts, big or small, but there are some things in life that override any negative result.
“Bobby is doing OK,” the Cressing Road manager explained. “We’ve been in and out of Great Ormond Street and of course you never really stop thinking about what’s happening but you just train yourself to cope with it.
“We’re waiting for the date of his operation now. As soon as that’s out of the way, he and his brother Teddy can go back to terrorising each other!”
The six-year-old football fanatic, it has been discovered, was recently diagnosed with a severe heart condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia. Seeing your son suffer when all he wants to do is be outside kicking the ball around is incredibly difficult for dad, and mum Laura.
“He was born with it and I’ve got to say it’s fantastic news that we’ve found it now,” Quinton, who returned to Braintree from Enfield Town in the summer, said.
“One day out of the blue he crashed down and it could have been major. The heart’s valves open and close to bring you back slowly, but because there is too much tissue the blood stays pumping and pumping even when he is not doing cardio.
“One night he had 244 beats in 44 minutes and then he crashed down to 42 beats. If you don’t understand those terms, it’s incredibly serious.
“The day all the readings were traced we got a call at 11pm saying ‘we are admitting your son straight away’ – we all got in the car there and then and they kept him in for six days.”
Quinton added: “We’re now waiting, and we now have a six year old on beta blockers. It’s scary, beyond frightening.
“He is a clever and emotional boy. Teddy, his brother, is tough and likes to rough and tumble.
“But we count ourselves lucky. There’s a 90 per cent chance this won’t come back and if they hadn’t found it when they did, life could be very different. “
With so much on his plate, you could understand then why it will take more than a 5-3 defeat to East Thurrock United in the National League South to get the manager rattled.
“We’re a young side so we are going to make mistakes,” Quinton said.
“When we go into Great Ormond Street it genuinely does put things into perspective for us all.
“There are truly amazing people and once we’re a bit further down the line we will be looking into doing a fundraising drive.”
*This article originally featured in The NLP on Sunday August 20th. The NLP is on sale every Sunday and Monday!