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Ron Dowson, 36, was on his way to watch Arsenal play Sheffield Wednesday at Highbury when he became involved in a premier league drama himself.

 

Dr Heather Clark and Dr Alastair Mulcahy performed open-heart surgery on a pub floor, with just a scalpel and a pair of scissors, to save the life of man who had been stabbed.

 

Tom Tracey was leading a Sunday morning congregation in a psalm when the pastoral scene was shattered by a naked madman.

 

Mark Taylor's mum used to think he was "a bit of a wimp". Not any more.

 

A freak accident pitched fishermen Jamie Blackhall, Alex Beck and John Gilbert into the freezing waters of a remote Scottish Loch. When their boat capsized without warning, the men decided that Jamie, who was the fittest of the three, should swim to shore, about three-quarters of a mile away, to raise the alarm.

In temperatures of minus 50cel, during "white out" blizzards and faced with an ocean of ice, their dreams were of simple things such as the colour of trees or a comfortable chair to sit on.

 

The Paddington rail disaster was the accident that should never have happened. When two packed commuter trains collided on October 5, 1999, close to Ladbroke Grove in London, 31 people lost their lives and many more were badly injured.

 

Tim Berners-Lee is one of the most influential men in the world but although millions of people use his invention every day, few have even heard of him.

 

The Reverend Chad Varah was a newly-ordained vicar working in London's East End when the story of a young girl's suicide moved him to set up a telephone helpline for people who had lost all hope.

 

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