He went blue and passed out. He wasn't breathing. That's when his fellow squash club members sprung into action and saved his life.
Now, the club is making sure it will be even better prepared should the same thing happen again.
A member of the Reporoa Squash Club had a cardiac arrest as he sat down after his game at the club's social night earlier this month.
"He was blue, unresponsive and basically dead," club president Treena Braithwaite said.
She said club members started CPR.
"It took 20 minutes until the ambulance arrived with the defibrillator. There were seven of us helping with the CPR and others got all the kids out of the building. It was a massive team effort."
When the ambulance arrived one of the officers tapped her on the shoulder and said he was there but they should just keep working, she said.
"It felt like forever, but it was only 20 minutes," Mrs Braithwaite said.
Their efforts saved the man's life and he is now set to make a full recovery.
It's a result that wouldn't have been possible if the club members hadn't known how to do CPR, said St John Reporoa station manager Bruce Vermeulen.
"The credit goes to these guys because there was really good CPR going on and that made all the difference to our success. Everybody was cool and calm and doing what they needed to do.
"We just added to what they were doing, we didn't actually take over, to their surprise, but that was really good."
Mr Vermeulen said he and the St John team came back the following week to discuss with the club members what had happened and thank them for their efforts.
From that conversation Mrs Braithwaite said the club decided to fundraise for a defibrillator.
"We have managed to raise $2500 which is the right amount. I'll be buying the defibrillator today," she said.
The club member who suffered the cardiac arrest, who did not wish to be named, told the Rotorua Daily Post he was very grateful to the members who saved his life.
"We finished the game and I was sitting down and then I collapsed without anyone knowing. My wife came down to look for me, the gang sped in and they started a cycle of CPR."
He said he had no memory of the week before the cardiac arrest or the week after but he was now making a good recovery and his doctors were confident he would recover fully.
In fact, he was back at the squash courts cooking the barbecue last week.
"I'm very lucky that it happened where it did and the people there knew what to do. If it wasn't for them doing CPR for the length of time that they did, there would have been a great possibility of brain damage or even death."