Martin Allen paid an emotional, heartfelt tribute to Adrian Whitbread today, after revealing the Spireites assistant manager has suffered a bleed on the brain.
Whitbread was hospitalised before Tuesday’s game and has been undergoing tests which uncovered the seriousness of his condition.
But Allen was overjoyed to learn this morning that his number two will simply need a break from work and not surgery.
A visibly upset Chesterfield manager explained what had transpired over the past three days.
“It was a serious problem,” he said.
“He was in the office here at 3.30 in the afternoon and had a severe headache.
“He was rushed to hospital with severe head pains and monitored overnight at the hospital here in Chesterfield.
“At 10pm last night he was taken to the neurological unit in Sheffield so you can imagine how we all were.
“Even more so you should be able to imagine how he was.
“He’s had further tests and I got a phone call from his brother two hours ago.
“The hospital have said he’ll need to have a break, he’s had a bleed on his brain.
“He will be able to return to work and he won’t need surgery.
“What a result.
“I can’t deny there’s been tears.”
The pair first became team-mates at West Ham in 1994 and played together at Portsmouth before working together at Barnet, Brentford, Milton Keynes and Leicester City.
Allen said the events of this week had come as a huge shock for the 46-year-old.
But he’s now on the road to recovery and eventually a return to the Proact, where he plays such an important role according to the manager.
“For him it’s come as a complete shock, completely out of the blue.
“Just before the game the other night.
“He’ll get discharged in a few days time, he’ll probably go back to London for a little while to be with his family, he’ll probably spend a little bit of time up with me and Lisa.
“I don’t think he can drive for a little while.
“Work wise we can get by.
“He’s a brilliant assistant. Such a great guy, such a help to everybody.
“I get all the praise, I get people singing, but the person behind the scenes that helps me put everything together and organises me, the key, key player has been Adrian.
“No praise, never wants any praise, always in the background.
“He’s an absolute star.
“As soon as I’m finished this my Lisa is taking me to the hospital, I can’t wait to see him.
“In time of course he can come back and do some of the smaller tasks.
“When he comes back it will be special.”
Allen kept their players in the dark before the game on Tuesday and informed them of Whitbread’s condition after they had beaten Aldershot.
And while everyone at the Proact is understandably shaken by the news, they’ve resolved to remain focused on the job in hand - preparing for Braintree on Saturday.
“Straight after the game we had a quick chat, said well done to everyone and we gave each other a big hug, which we always do in the dressing room.
“I sat them all down and said he wasn’t very well and had been taken to hospital.
“Before the game I said someone in his family wasn’t well, which was a bit of a disguise, or a lie.
“They were all upset, they think the absolute world of him, they know how much he does for me.
“No one has been allowed to contact him for a couple of days, for obvious reasons.
“So when I told the players an hour ago, they were all so relieved, they all knew the possible seriousness of what this could have led to.
“We made a pledge after the game that we’d be upset, but whatever happens we will stand firm in a tough time, we will cope with it and deal with it.
“Everything has been totally professional, done right.
“We’ll prepare and practice so we’re 100 per cent ready for Saturday.”