All Whites legend Adrian Elrick says he's never felt better despite collapsing from a heart attack on the bowling green yesterday.

If it wasn't for the quick actions of 22-year-old Matua Bowling club member Sam Dockary, Elrick doubts he would still be around.

The 67-year-old, who played 92 times for the All Whites, had been taking part in the club's men's singles tournament yesterday.

The football sporting legend's life was saved by Dockary's quick actions; he performed CPR as well as using a defibrillator to bring Elrick back.


When contacted in Tauranga Hospital today, Elrick said he's never felt better.

"I just had [two friends] in here and both of them said to my nurse 'I haven't seen him look so bloody good'. Seriously though, since it happened and I came to I have been over the moon, actually, excellent. Really good."

All the monitors he was attached to came off this morning and his prognosis was good, he said.

"The heart is beating at the right pace, all the medications are working. I'm feeling really good, my appetite is really good, too."

There had been a steady flow of friends and family visiting him in hospital, he said.

Talking to the Herald on Sunday from his Tauranga Hospital bed, Elrick said: "Sam is a great guy. When I talk to him I will say thanks for saving my life. If he hadn't been there, I wouldn't be here.

"I know I am very lucky. I am very appreciative to Sam. He's brilliant."

Elrick, who played for New Zealand between 1975-84, said he had no recollection of his collapse.

"I didn't know anything about it, I wasn't feel bad beforehand. I just went bang and that was it," he said.

"I just came to, two or three minutes later."

Dockary set up the defibrillator and gave Elrick a shock, before starting CPR for about a minute-and-a-half.

Elrick hoped that his experience would highlight the importance of businesses or sporting clubs owning a defibrillator.