New Zealand football icon Wynton Rufer has emerged from a coma after suffering a heart attack on Sunday.

The 56-year-old All Whites great confirmed to Radio Sport that he was "walking with a lime scooter" after attending the New Zealand Breakers' NBL match against the Perth Wildcats at Auckland's Spark Arena when he suffered a mild heart attack.

Rufer, who was with friend Florian Wellmann at the time, said he was expected to make a full recovery.

His brother Shane told the Herald Wynton should be out of hospital within the next three or four days.


"It was a huge shock for the family but now we are rejoicing. We are delighted we are going to be able to spend more Easters, more Christmases together and maybe even catch some kingfishes together," Shane said.

"After the basketball game, he was heading up to Parnell on a lime scooter. His heart just stopped and he was falling off this thing.

"The friend he was with wasn't sure what to do...but he did the most important thing. He yelled out 'help help'.

"People came running. There were some neighbours, some people jumped out of a car. A stranger started CPR and that probably saved his life."

According to Shane an ambulance was dispatched from the nearby ASB Tennis Centre, and was there "within a few minutes".

"Wynton is good, he's full beans, cracking a few jokes. He's feeling good. You would if you have a cardiac arrest and you come back to life."

Wellmann earlier told German media that he screamed for help after Rufer went down while the pair were on a side street.

Wellmann's pleas were answered by an elderly woman who stopped and called emergency services on her mobile phone, while two other men also stopped their car to offer assistance.


"One of them (men) pushed me away and immediately started resuscitation on Wynton," Wellmann told Kreiszeitung Syke.

"I was totally in shock, paralysed. And the man did that because he completed a life-saving course three weeks ago."

According to Kreiszeitung Syke, Rufer was put in an induced coma but woke up again on Tuesday.

Wynton Rufer in action for New Zealand against Fiji in 1997. Photo / Photosport
Wynton Rufer in action for New Zealand against Fiji in 1997. Photo / Photosport

Rufer became a household name when he was added to the All Whites squad late in their bid to qualify for the 1982 World Cup in Spain; instantly making a presence on the field.

His showings in the All Whites jersey saw him be snapped up by Swiss clubs FC Aarau and Grasshoppers.

He then starred for glamour German team Werder Bremen between 1989-95.

But despite being a massive name in world football his appearances for the national team were restricted to just 23; partly due to a reluctance from his club sides in releasing him for All Whites duty.

Rufer returned to New Zealand in 1997, where he played for Central United and North Shore United, before then taking on a player-coach rule at the Auckland Kingz.

Named the Oceania Footballer of the Century by the Oceania Football Confederation, he is still a leading figure in New Zealand football and runs the WYNRS football academy.