QPR Report Twitter Feed

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mark Devlin & Son - Update

Plane crash boy is back at home
By Matt Jackson Swindon Advertiser

Stan Devlin pictured at his home with his mother Jocie and father Mark Picture Ref: 203721

THE son of Swindon Town's chief executive who survived a plane crash has spoken of the nightmare flashbacks that still haunt him.
Stan Devlin, 10, has returned home after spending 25 nights in hospital with severe leg injuries.
Stan was sitting in the front of the plane with pilot Frank Kratky when it careered into woodland near a Buckinghamshire golf course on Saturday, August 5, following Swindon's opening day win at Hartlepool United.
Six people were injured in the crash, including Stan, his father Mark, investor Bill Power and marketing executive Mike Sullivan.
"I was sat up with the pilot. He had let me read some maps and it was a fun afternoon," Stan recalled.
"As we came down and the plane started shaking very violently. We shuddered and moved to the right.
"The last thing I saw was the green of the trees. When I woke up there were golfers peering into the plane.
"The steering control was the only thing that looked normal, the rest was all twisted and my seat was the only one remaining.
"The pilot was covered in blood, telling the golfers he wanted to get out."
Stan heard moaning in the back of the plane and tried to find out what had happened to his father.
"I called Dad, where are you' and eventually after about two or three calls I heard him say yeah.' "He couldn't say anything else, he just said yeah.'"
Stan suffered two broken legs and a broken ankle.
"It was strange, I didn't feel any pain until they asked me to move on to the pilot's lap," he said.
Stan was taken to hospital and went through several operations on his legs.
He spent the next three weeks in hospital.
"The food was okay, but my grandmother is Italian so she cooked me pasta," he said.
"After all the operations I have a hole in my leg that looks like a crater."
The most disturbing thing for Stan is the memories he gets of that fateful afternoon.
"In hospital I had a few flashbacks and every time I get upset. There are so many plane crashes, just think of the Nimrod accident last week.
"It's amazing that six people survived in this one but it still worries me.
"I'm just really looking forward to getting back to school to see my mates.
"I go back on Monday and I can't wait."
Stan's mother Jocie said: "With all the drama he forgets how much he has been through.
"After the operations on his legs, they went into shock.
"They swelled, so they had to make two big cuts to relieve the pressure."
Jocie was with Stan for 20 nights of his hospital stay.
"It was really difficult having to go from looking after Mark at home to Stan in the hospital," she said.
A metal rod was put into Mark's back and he had several operations on a broken shoulder blade.
Jocie said: "The operation was a major one and quite scary.
"There is always the thought, will he walk again after this?'"
Mark said: "I'm hoping to be back at work by the end of September."
But his son's return home has been a major boost.
"Stan was there for the best part of a month and there's nothing quite like being at home to help you get back to normal," he said.
Although he is recuperating well, Mark is still nervous of planes.
He said: "I don't think I will be hopping onto a light aircraft any time soon. It was so surreal to be so close to being home and then having that taken away from you."
9:00am Friday 8th September 2006
Swindon Advertiser

Also BBC - September 7, 2006
Football boss 'jinxed by crash'

Mr Devlin and his son are expected to make a full recovery
The chief executive of Swindon Town Football Club has spoken about surviving a plane crash with his 10-year-old son.
The accident happened as Mark and Stan Devlin were returning from the club's first game of the season last month.
Mr Devlin suffered back injuries - his son broke both legs when the plane came down on a Buckinghamshire golf course.
Mr Devlin said he was keen to get back to work, although he was concerned he might now be seen as a jinx.
Full recovery
"I'm frightened to go back near the place now because if I go there and we don't win a game, I'm going to be blamed, such is the superstition of football," he said.
Both father and son are expected to make a full recovery, as are the four other people who were on board with them.
Stan, whose return to school has been delayed, said the accident has not put him off air travel.
"I like flying, it's fun, but that wasn't too fun," he said.
The Cessna 310 aircraft came down in woods close to Denham Golf Course on 5 August.
The cause of the accident is being investigated.

Blog Archive