JOHNSTONE Burgh legend Ricky Cantwell admits he will never forget his last match as club president...after watching his beloved team win promotion and then being rushed to hospital.

Ricky, 68, was thrilled to see Burgh demolish Muirkirk 6-1 at Keanie Park on Saturday, April 30 – a result which means they will be in the second tier of the West of Scotland Football League next season.

It was already a special occasion, as it marked his final game as club president after 20 years of loyal service to the club.

However, he missed the promotion celebrations and, instead, spent the night at the Royal Alexandra Hospital after being troubled by pins and needles in his right arm.

A Burgh committee member called an ambulance to take Ricky to the RAH, where he was kept under observation for several hours before being allowed home.

Dad-of-five Ricky, who had a double heart bypass in 2002, revealed the pins and needles had first surfaced on Friday, April 29, but there was no way he would miss Burgh’s big game.

Speaking exclusively to The Gazette, he added: “I was standing in the committee room having a drink after the game when I began to feel the pins and needles again but it was nothing to do with the excitement of winning promotion.

“I told them at the hospital that I was probably wasting their time but I was told I’d done the right thing in coming to hospital when I did.

“They did some tests and said it could have been the signs of a slight stroke.

“The doctors told me to take it easier in future and to watch my diet.”

Ricky has been involved in football for more than 40 years and has served Burgh as both president and match secretary.

The former spray-painter now hopes to take on an ambassadorial role at the Johnstone club.

He has been inundated with good wishes, including messages from officials at rival clubs, since his health scare.

“I will still be going to the games next season and supporting the club,” said Ricky. “However, I will definitely be taking it easier in future.”