A HEART attack survivor and the friends who saved his life were treated to a £10,000 golfing trip to California – courtesy of Holywood star Vinnie Jones.
Scots labourer Alan Linton hit the headlines when his friends kept him alive by doing heart massage to the tempo of the Bee Gees hit Stayin’ Alive.
Vinnie Jones, who starred in the television advert which memorably publicised the lifesaving technique, later met and befriended Alan, 40, from Ladybank, Fife.
The former professional footballer and Mean Machine actor recently invited Alan and his friends to a trip of a lifetime in Holywood.
They played golf at some of Los Angeles’ most exclusive clubs, partied at the star’s home next door to director Quentin Tarantino – and were taken by Jones on a “Michael Jackson-themed” tour of the City of Angels.
Just back from the week-long trip, Alan said his heart attack had made him “a friend for life”.
Jones has accepted an invitation to visit Alan in Fife next year for a slightly less glamorous tour of some of the Kingdom’s golf courses.
Alan and his friends – Brian Henderson, Mikey Ronnie and Paul Pinkey – flew from Edinburgh to Los Angeles, where they were picked up by Jones’ chauffeur and taken to their apartments on Sunset Boulevard, minutes from the star’s home on Mulholland Drive.
Alan said they were treated like “Royalty” by Vinnie, joining him for rounds of golf at top courses including Robinson Ranch, Angeles National and Calabasas Country Club.
Alan said: “We played in a celebrity tournament, obviously Vinnie was our celebrity. We finished joint first first with 19 under par. We played golf at a course that is up in the Valleys. Vinnie had organised a kind of mini- tournament with some of his friends and other members.
“Vinnie picked us up himself to play golf in the mornings and on the way back he would take us around LA and Hollywood and show us the sites, like up to the Hollywood Hills. He took us to quite a few Michael Jackson places, like where he lived, where he died and things like that.”
The generous star even splashed out on presents of designer clothes from the golf club shop for the friends.
“He is nothing like what you would think,” said Alan. “He’s definitely the soft hearted type – he’s just a gentleman. Half an hour in Vinnie’s company and you are one of his friends, he’s just the same as everyone else.”
Other highlights included a party Jones threw at his home in honour of his Scottish guests and taking them to a game involving soccer team Hollywood Allstars which he coaches.
Alan said Jones was far too much of a gentleman to reveal anything about the cost of the trip. But he estimates Jones must have lavished at least £10,000 on golf fees, food, drink and transport alone.
Alan said that even when he got back to Scotland, Jones was still showing his softer side.
He said: “When we left he told me to give him a shout when we get home, but because it was quite a big time difference I didn’t get back to him straight away.
“I was barely in the house an hour and he texted me asking if we had got home alright. It shows what a great guy he is, what he has done for us is just unbelievable.”
He added: “I made a friend for life after having my heart attack. It’s great that something good has come out of it”
Mr Linton hopes to return the favour when Jones is in Scotland next year, by taking him out for a game at his local golf course in Fife.
He said: “Vinnie is hopefully going to be filming in Scotland next year, so he said he’d be in touch, which would be great as we could take him for a couple of rounds here.”
Alan collapsed while playing golf at a Fife course in February last year.
Brian, Mikey and Paul remembered the Vinnie Jones advert for the British Heart Foundation and were able to give their stricken friend chest compressions at precisely the correct rate, keeping him alive until paramedics arrived.
Scottish Ambulance Service chiefs released an extraordinary audio recording of the men talking to a controller by phone as they battled to save him.