Massive heart attack almost kills RTÉ’s Michael Lyster

Sports broadcaster to have pacemaker fitted after wife used CPR to save his life

RTÉ’s The Sunday Game Live presenter Michael Lyster (left) with football panellists Joe Brolly, Colm O’Rourke and Pat Spillane in studio in Croke Park.

RTÉ sports broadcaster Michael Lyster (61) almost died when he had a massive heart attack on Friday, June 5th last, but was saved by the quick actions of his wife Anne and journalist friend Vincent Hogan.

He will have a pacemaker fitted this coming Thursday and is expected to be back presenting The Sunday Game within weeks.

Playing golf

On the day he suffered the attack he had been playing golf at Portumna, Co Galway with Hogan, who drove him home to Cabinteely in Dublin afterwards.

They arrived there at about 11.30pm, after which he realised he had left his mobile phone in the car.


He called Hogan from the house phone and then opened his front door. Next thing he remembers is waking up in a hospital bed the following day.

“I was down on the floor when Vincent arrived... and he immediately called up the stairs for my wife Anne while he phoned the ambulance...

First aid

"Anne has first aid training, so she sharted doing CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] on me and was talking to the guys in the ambulance as they made their way to us," he told the Sunday Independent.

“There is no question about it but I was dying. And had I not forgotten the phone in the first place, I would have died downstairs with everyone in bed,” he said.

The Lysters have four adult children, two of whom live at home.

Mr Lyster first suffered heart failure towards the end of the GAA championship season three years ago, in 2012.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is a contributor to The Irish Times