HE THOUGHT he had a cold but he is now fighting for his life.

Hampshire businessman Heath Bland believed he had the flu last week but he is now lying in an induced coma on a life-support system.

The 48-year-old brother of well-known pro golfer Richard Bland, was taken to Southampton General Hospital with chest pains on Saturday.

When his condition deteriorated and his heart stopped for few seconds, he was transferred to Royal Brompton Hospital in London, the largest specialist heart and lung medical centre in the country.

His brother Richard said: “His condition is very serious. It’s a virus attacking his heart.

"There’s no real change right now but we are hoping it will improve in the next three or four days. I hope he will get better so we can play golf together.

“He is the best brother a brother could wish for and he has had lots of support from his friends which shows how much love people have for him.”

Heath, who grew up in Southampton and now lives in Totton, is the owner of Heath Bland Construction.

He was also a member of the Dibden and the Brokenhurst Manor clubs.

As it is likely that the former Hardley School student will be off work for several months, his friends are organising a fundraising event at the Brokenhurst Manor on December 23.

Tim Lines, 38, a businessman, from Lyndhurst, is Heath’s best friend and the main organiser of the event.

He said: “Sunday was the worst day of my life. I fear for his life. I am praying he will get through.

"I am sure we’ll play golf together again – I am positive.

“He is a lovely man, one of the most honest men I have ever known and that’s why the support has been incredible in the past few days. We’ll do everything we can to help him.”

Tim said 60 golf players have already come forward but he is inviting the community to take part in the event either by playing golf in the morning or taking part in the auction.

To get involved email tlfencing@outlook.com. A fundraising campaign has also been launched online. To donate visit gofundme.com/4umq2k8.