THREE men have been heralded as ‘heroes’ after they stopped to help a stranger in need.

The family of Lee Martin have praised the efforts of firefighter Ian Knott, security guard Simon Lynskey and paramedic John Oates, who helped to perform CPR on the 51-year-old, who had collapsed from a heart attack in the Golden Square Shopping Centre.

If it hadn’t been for their quick thinking, Lee, from Old Hall, would not have survived the attack on Saturday, February 8.

Lee’s brother, George said: “These men are real life heroes. If it wasn’t for these men, Lee would have died.”

The 51-year-old was struggling to remember the hours leading up to the heart attack so was unable to help put the pieces of what happened back together.

He was later told by paramedics that the men had come to his rescue and had saved his life.

The identity of the three men remained a mystery for some time, but the family were finally able to track down the good Samaritans after publishing an advert in the Warrington Guardian, calling for the men to come forward.

“We just wanted the chance to say thank you and I wasn’t sure if we would be able to find them,” added George.

Simon, aged 24, was first on the scene and said it was ‘rewarding’ to think that he had made a difference.

He added: "I've been given first aid training along with my colleagues but a real life situation is completely different. There wasn't any time to think, I just had to act immediately.

“Luckily there was also an off duty fire fighter and an off duty paramedic in the centre to help too until the paramedics arrived. It was a team effort really. I hope Mr Martin makes a full recovery."

Lee, who is a full time carer for his mother, is now recovering at Warrington Hospital and is doing well following the attack.