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Watch: Teen lifesaver reunited 50 years on with boy he saved in Eccles


SalfordOnline.com have reunited two men whose lives came together in an extraordinary fashion 50 years ago.

David Jordan, now 64, saved Dave Greene’s life back in January 1965 when he rescued the four-year-old from the waters of Eccles swimming baths on Cromwell Road.

The intial story was a big success and we put out an appeal to find both the young boy and his plucky rescuer.

50 years ago: 14-year-old hero saves boy from drowning at Eccles baths

Lifesaver David – who now works as a first-aid trainer for St John’s Ambulance – took a little tracking down.

An interview with the eternally grateful Dave Greene – now a dad of three working at Godfrey Ermen Primary School in Eccles – helped bring David forward.

““Now I have a great marriage, three lovely children, a job that I really enjoying doing, and none of these things would have been possible without him,” said Dave.

50 years on: Plea to find man who rescued toddler from drowning in Eccles

But Mr Jordan couldn’t believe his name was in the papers after all these years.

He told us: “I walked into Monton Sports Club and the lads there know me well and started calling me a hero and laughing, but I thought they were giving me the rise.

“A girl who works behind the bar brought up the SalfordOnline article and said, ‘It’s all about you David!'”

On Saturday 27 February we arranged for an emotional meeting between the two men outside the former swimming baths on Cromwell Road and heard their recollections of this fascinating tale.

David said: “I remember swimming along, all of a sudden I saw a little body flopping up and down in the water, blue from [head to toe], I thought, ‘This isn’t right, I must do something about it.’

“So I picked him up, popped him on the side, and I think everything went swimmingly after that.”

David added: “I did receive a certificate for my bravery from the Mayor of Eccles which my mother had and I think has been lost over the years.

“I also received a free pass for a year to see films at The Broadway Cinema, which I don’t think I used.

“The first I heard about this story after all these years was when one of my daughters contacted me who had read the story and said, “Dad, you’re famous””

“To be be honest I am no different from anybody else, anybody would have helped Dave and in no way do I consider myself a hero, far from it.

“One of my daughters said to me, ‘You may be a lifesaver but you’re an angel to me.’

“I was a bit embarrassed about the meeting after all these years but I am glad that I have now, and that I know Dave is living a happy life.

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Dave Greene said: “I am amazed to meet this man after all these years and I am lost for words, I can not thank this man enough for saving my life, I am blown away by meeting him.”

As we talked, several strange coincidences came to light. Both boys attended the same school, St Patrick’s in Winton.

And when David Jordan’s relative was ill he visited him in Hope Hospital, but on the same ward in a neighbouring bed was Dave Greene’s father, who asked if this was the same boy who had rescued his son from Eccles baths.

David Jordan teaches first aid for St John’s Ambulance at Heaton Mersey in Stockport. And believe it or not, he also taught SalfordOnline reporter Rob Siddall first aid at Victoria Park Junior School!

All in all this has been a happy ending to a fascinating story and both men (who are fans of Joseph Holt’s ale) have plans to meet up for a long-awaited celebration drink.

Main image: David Jordan, Tony Flynn, Dave Greene. All images by Albert@itookyourpic.com

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Tony Flynn

SalfordOnline.com's Local History Editor and Senior Reporter.