List of association footballers who died while playing

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The following is a list of association footballers who died while playing a game, died directly from injuries sustained while playing, or died after being taken ill on the pitch. Following an increase in deaths,[1] both during matches and training, FIFA (Federation of International Football Associations) considered mandatory cardiac testing,[2] already in place for years in some countries, such as Italy.[3]

By 2009, FIFA player PCMA (Pre-Competition Medical Assessment) included family history, heart rhythm, sounds, and ECG (electrocardiogram) results.[4] UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) required extensive medical tests, including ECG (electrocardiogram) and echo (echocardiogram) for players in the Europa League 2011–12.[5] Constant monitoring has been advised.[6]

Date Name Age Team Notes
13 January 1889 William Cropper 26 Staveley Ruptured bowel in a match against Grimsby Town led to death the next day.
11 January 1892 James "Daddy" Dunlop 21 St Mirren Tetanus from fall on piece of glass in a friendly game against Abercorn led to death ten days later, at the age of 21.[7]
25 May 1896 James Logan 25 Loughborough F.C. Pneumonia while playing.
29 November 1896 Joe Powell 25 Woolwich Arsenal Blood poisoning and tetanus after breaking his arm against Kettering Town in 1896.
January 1900 James Collins Sheppey United Tetanus caused by on-field injury.[8]
27 August 1902 Di Jones 35? Manchester City Gashed knee turned septic led to death.
27 October 1906 David "Soldier" Wilson 23 Leeds City Heart attack while playing against Burnley, probably from heavy smoking. He attempted to return to the field of play even when in great pain.[9]
8 April 1907 Tommy Blackstock 25 Manchester United Collapsed after heading a ball in a game against St. Helens and died.
January 1908 Frank Levick 26 Sheffield United Pneumonia during recovery from collar bone broken playing against Newcastle United on New Years Day 1908. Attending Dr Selby of Attercliffe (Sheffield) noted heart failure at 1:40pm on 1 February 1908 at his father's house on 125 Plumpers Road Tinsley Sheffield[10]
29 December 1909 James Main 23 Hibernian Fatal stomach injuries during a Christmas Day match in 1909 against Partick Thistle at Firhill on a frostbound pitch, after colliding with a Thistle player, led to death four days later.
19 February 1916 Bob Benson 33 Arsenal Burst blood vessel following a wartime game against Reading.[11][12]
7 January 1921 Horace Fairhurst 27 Blackpool Suffered a head injury in a league game at Barnsley in December 1920; died as a result of his injury early in the new year.
22 May 1921 Nikola Gazdić Hajduk Split Young forward died of late stage tuberculosis after an epic performance against Građanski Zagreb, Hajduk's greatest rival at the time.[13]
11 November 1923 Tom Butler Port Vale Died from tetanus eight days after fracturing(breaking) his arm in a match.
4 April 1927 Albert Van Coile 27 Cercle Brugge Suffered a perforated bowel after a collision with an opponent. Died one day later.
3 May 1927 David Arellano 24 Colo-Colo Suffered peritonitis after being hit by an opposing player during the match. Shortly after the incident Arellano was brought to a nearby clinic where he ultimately died.
30 April 1927 Sam Wynne 30 Bury Collapsed and died on the field of pneumonia during a match against Sheffield United, although Bury claim it was a cerebral hemorrhage.[14]
5 September 1931 John Thomson 22 Celtic Injured during an Old Firm match when he dived for the ball and suffered a fractured skull in an accidental collision with Rangers' Sam English. He died that same evening.
17 June 1933 Jón Kristbjörnsson 22 Valur A goalkeeper who collided with a striker from KR Reykjavik and suffered a head injury in the last game of the Icelandic League on 13. June 1933. Was taken to hospital, where he died from his injuries on 17 June 1933.[15]
1 December 1934 Sim Raleigh 25 Gillingham Died after a clash of heads with Brighton & Hove Albion's Paul Mooney in a game, who subsequently retired.
5 February 1936 Jimmy Thorpe 22 Sunderland A diabetic, the goalkeeper collapsed into a coma from which he never recovered, attributed to the rough treatment he received on the pitch in a game against Chelsea. His death lead to the rule that players were no longer able to kick the ball out of the goalkeeper's arms.
20 February 1949 Gustav Fähland TSV Braunschweig The goalkeeper died of internal bleeding a few days after a collision with an opposing player in a match between his club TSV Braunschweig (a temporary name for Eintracht Braunschweig) and SV Werder Bremen on 13 February 1949.[16]
1 April 1951 Mitotônio 35 Ceará Collapsed during a match. Death attributed to stomach congestion.[17]
August 1953 John Kirkby 23 Wrexham Collapsed during a match. Death attributed to a Cardiac arrest.[18]
14 July 1963 Constantin Tabarcea 26 Petrolul Ploieşti Collapsed during a match. Death attributed to unusual activity of the thymus gland.[19]
25 February 1967 Tony Allden Highgate United Struck by lightning during an FA Amateur Cup quarterfinal against Enfield.[20]
1 July 1973 Nikola Mantov 23 FK Osogovo Collapsed and died of a heart attack in the 10th minute of a league game against FAS 11 Oktomvri.[21]
16 December 1973 Pavão 26 F.C. Porto Collapsed and died of a heart attack during a league game.[22]
18 May 1977 Tony Aveyard 21 Scarborough Head injuries received during match.[23][24]
30 October 1977 Renato Curi 24 Perugia Suffered a heart attack while playing in a Serie A match against Juventus. Perugia's ground is named after him.
23 September 1984 Erik Jongbloed DWS Amsterdam Struck by lightning during an exhibition game.[25]
Son of Jan Jongbloed, goalkeeper of the Dutch national team in both the 1974 and 1978 FIFA World Cup Final.
23 August 1987 Paulo Navalho 20 Atlético Clube de Portugal Suffered an acute myocardial infarction during a friendly match between Atletico and the U.A.E.'s Al-Jazira Club.[26]
9 December 1987 Dursun Özbek 17 Galatasaray Died from a heart failure in a training match in Florya.[15]
12 August 1989 Samuel Okwaraji 24 Nigeria Collapsed and died while playing against Angola in a World Cup Qualifier. An autopsy showed that the 24-year-old had an enlarged heart and high blood pressure.
8 September 1990 David Longhurst 25 York City Suffered a heart attack on the pitch while playing against Lincoln City. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.[27]
2 February 1993 Michael Klein 33 Bayer Uerdingen Suffered a heart attack during a training session.
30 April 1995 Mukandi Tsimaya 28 Atromitos F.C. Received an elbow hit in the neck by an opponent player, during a match against Panelefsiniakos. He died before going to hospital.[citation needed]
25 August 1995 Michael Goddard Dundela Died during a game against Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park after being struck in the chest by the ball.[15]
29 October 1995 Amir Angwe 29 Julius Berger F.C. Collapsed and died on the pitch of a heart attack.[28]
4 January 1997 Hedi Berkhissa 24 Esperance Sportive de Tunis Suffered a heart attack in a friendly game against Olympique Lyonnais at Stade Chedli Zouiten
4 April 1997 Waheeb Jabara 23 Hapoel Taibe Suffered a heart attack while playing against Bnei Yehuda.[29]
February 1998 Robbie James 40 Llanelli A.F.C. Cardiomyopathy
28 April 1998 Axel Jüptner 29 Carl Zeiss Jena Died suddenly of a heart attack during training
January 1999 Ferenc Biro 15 Nirajul Miercurea-Nir. Died after a crossbar fell on his head during a warmup.[30]
24 July 1999 Stefan Vrăbioru 23 Astra Ploieşti Undetected heart defect that led to him collapsing.[31]
January 2000 Daniel Orbeanu 18 Caraimanul Buşteni Died after an infection from a simple sprain, misdiagnosed by four different hospitals.[32]
February 2000 John Ikoroma 17 Al-Wahda S.C.C. Collapsed on the pitch and later died in hospital.[33]
2 April 2000 Eri Irianto 26 Persebaya Surabaya Died in hospital due to heart failure after a game between Persebaya and PSIM Yogyakarta.[34]
21 May 2000 Hocine Gacemi 24 JS Kabylie Died from a fractured skull after clash of heads.[35]
30 May 2000 Ivan "Beli" Krstic 20 Radnički Niš Struck by lightning during a training session, and was killed instantly.[36]
5 October 2000 Catalin Hîldan 24 Dinamo Bucharest Died while playing for Dinamo; In the 74th minute of a friendly game against Olteniţa, Cătălin had a heart attack, and fell to the ground. The North Stand of Dinamo's stadium is named in his honour.
29 August 2001 Serhiy Perkhun 23 CSKA Moscow Suffered injury in a collision with Budun Budunov who also sustained serious head trauma. He suffered a brain hemorrhage and died eight days later.
20 February 2002 Cristian Neamţu 21 Universitatea Craiova Accidentally struck in the mandible by a teammate charging towards goal. Internal bleeding was discovered, before he died one week later.[37]
October 2002 Marcio Dos Santos 28 Deportivo Wanka Dos Santos surfered an heart attack after a game of his Peruvian club Deportivo Wanka, which scored a goal by the 3:1 win over Alianza Lima.[38]
24 October 2002 Hernán Gaviria 32 Deportivo Cali Struck by lightning during a training session, and was killed instantly.
27 October 2002 Giovanni Córdoba 24 Deportivo Cali Struck by the same lightning that killed Hernán Gaviria, and died three days later from the injuries.[39]
December 2002 Stefan Toleski FK Napredok Collapsed during a match and later died in hospital.[40]
26 June 2003 Marc-Vivien Foé 28 Cameroon Collapsed while playing in the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final between his country and Colombia, and died shortly afterward in hospital. An autopsy later revealed the cause of death was hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
25 January 2004 Miklós Fehér 24 Benfica Died of cardiac arrest caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy while playing against Vitória.
29 February 2004 Danny Ortiz 27 CSD Municipal During a match against CSD Comunicaciones, Ortiz collided with Mario Rafael Rodríguez. He suffered a torn pericardium and died later in hospital.
27 October 2004 Serginho 30 São Caetano Sudden cardiac death during a Campeonato Brasileiro Série A match against São Paulo. His death motivated a revamping of practices in medical assistance from clubs and stricter preventative measures in sports grounds in Brazil.
5 December 2004 Cristiano Júnior 24 Dempo Sports Club Collided with Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Subrata Paul in the 78th minute of the Federation Cup finals while scoring his second goal. He staggered away, then collapsed. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was dead on arrival at Hosmat Hospital.
12 April 2005 Paul Sykes 28 Folkestone Invicta Collapsed on the pitch 30 minutes into the game against Margate F.C. in the Kent Senior Cup Semi-Final. An undiagnosed heart-defect was identified as the cause of his death.[41]
27 May 2005 Alin Paicu 32 Minerul Mătăsari Collapsed after heading a ball. Died of a heart attack.[42]
12 June 2006 Rasmus Green 26 Næstved BK Suffered a heart attack during a training session and was, despite revival attempts from team mates and a doctor, declared dead upon arrival at the local hospital. The number 7 was afterwards retired in his honor.[43]
30 August 2006 Mohamed Abdelwahab 23 Al-Ahly Died from undetected heart defect during a training match.[44]
9 September 2006 Matt Gadsby 27 Hinckley United Collapsed on the pitch during a Conference North game against Harrogate Town and died soon afterwards in Harrogate District Hospital. Medical tests revealed he died from a heart condition known as Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy.[45]
18 September 2006 Nilton Pereira Mendes 30 FC Shakhter Karagandy Collapsed on the pitch during a training session with his club and died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. The Brazilian was a former top scorer and best player for the Kazakhstan Premier League.[46]
27 March 2007 Ivan Karačić 19 NK Široki Brijeg Suffered a heart attack and died during a training match in Široki Brijeg, Bosnia and Herzegovina.[47]
28 August 2007 Antonio Puerta 22 Sevilla FC Collapsed during a match against Getafe C.F.. He died later in hospital after several cardiac arrests. Autopsy revealed arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy
29 August 2007 Chaswe Nsofwa 28 Hapoel Beersheba Died from sudden heart failure during a training match against Maccabi Beersheba.
29 December 2007 Phil O'Donnell 35 Motherwell Collapsed during his team's 5-3 win against Dundee United with what was later confirmed as left ventricular failure. He died on the way to hospital.[48]
9 February 2008 Guy Tchingoma 22 FC 105 Libreville Died shortly after a league game against Union Sportive O'Mbila. During the match he collided with an opponent. He managed to finish the game, but collapsed after it and medics were unable to revive him.[49]
16 February 2008 Hervé King 27 Ringmer Collapsed 17 minutes into a game against Three Bridges[50] of an undetermined cause (heart attack suspected).[51]
3 April 2008 Hrvoje Ćustić 24 NK Zadar Collided with a concrete wall during a game against Cibalia and died in hospital 5 days later of severe head injuries[52]
31 May 2008 Rustem Bulatov 34 Torpedo SDYuSShOR Kaluga Felt ill during a game, died later that day in a hospital.[53]
15 March 2009 Jumadi Abdi 26 PKT Bontang He collapsed after an incident with Denny Tarkas during the match of his club PKT Bontang against Persela Lamongan. Denny kicked Jumadi's stomach when he was trying to get the ball. Jumadi died in hospital 8 days later of severe infection.[54]
3 April 2009 Víctor Hugo Ávalos 37 Villa Florida Suffered a heart attack in a match against Salesianito and died the next day.[55]
26 May 2009 Orobosan Adun 28 Warri Wolves FC Before an away match with Enugu Rangers, Goalkeeper Adun of Warri Wolves FC, was assaulted by thugs suspected to be fans of the opposition team. Slumped and died 3 days later from internal haemorrhage, during a training session.[56]
8 Aug 2009 Daniel Jarque 26 RCD Espanyol Died after he suffered a cardiac arrest following a training session.[57]
15 November 2009 Maurizio Greco 25 TuS Güldenstern Stade He collapsed during the match of his club TuS Güldenstern Stade against Lupo Martini Wolfsburg at Campers Höhe and died later in the hospital.[58]
24 January 2010 Yannick Dago 17 Arras Football He collapsed during the match of his under-19 team club Arras Football against Etoile Sportive Anzin Saint Aubin and died later on a heart attack.[59]
6 March 2010 Endurance Idahor 25 Al-Merreikh He collapsed during the match of his Sudanese club Al Merreikh against Alamal Atbara. He died in the ambulance. Autopsy report revealed that he suffered a circulatory collapse from a heart attack.
8 March 2010 Bartholomew Opoku 19 Kessben F.C. He collapsed the day before while playing against league side Liberty. He was quickly taken to hospital and is understood to have stabilised overnight. His death was announced the next day by his club.[60]
May 2010 Goran Tunjić 32 Mladost FC He died from a heart attack during a 5th Division match. It was widely reported that Tunjić had been booked by the referee for diving,[61] though such reports were later refuted by some sources.[62]
2 May 2010 Ambrose Wleh 24 Invincible Eleven He died from heart failure in a match against Mighty Barrolle. He came on as a substitute in the second half before collapsing in the center circle with no other players near him. He died shortly afterwards upon arrival to a hospital in Monrovia, Liberia.[63]
18 August 2010 Victor Omogbehin 22 Ilford F.C. Victor Omomgbehin died after collapsing during a league match. He played in the Isthmian Football League game from Ilford against the Lowestoft Town FC.[64]
8 May 2010 Wilson Mene 22 Prek Pra Keila Wilson Mene died after collapsing during a league match. He is survived by both parents and seven siblings. He played in Metfone Cambodian League at National Olympic Stadium.[65]
10 November 2010 Benjamin Owusu 21 Cavaliers FC Parakou Benjamin Owusu died after collapsing an stroke while playing in Benin.[66]
12 April 2011 Lokissimbaye Loko 30 FC Beaumontois The former Chadian national football player died from a heart attack during a Ligue Midi-Pyrenees match.[67]
4 August 2011 Naoki Matsuda 34 Matsumoto Yamaga F.C. Former Yokohama F. Marinos and Japan international football player collapsed during training on 2 August 2011 due to a cardiac arrest after finishing a 15-minute warmup run, and doctors diagnosed his condition as "extremely severe". After suffering for two days, he died on 4 August.[68]
13 November 2011 Bobsam Elejiko 30 K. Merksem S.C. Nigerian born player who spent most of his career playing in Belgium collapsed and died while playing a 5th tier match for K. Merksem S.C. against F.C. Exc. Kaart[69]
15 March 2012 D. Venkatesh 27 Bangalore Mars Venkatesh came on as a substitute in the 73rd minute and collapsed toward the end of the game; reports suggest cardiac arrest as the cause of death.[70]
14 April 2012 Piermario Morosini 25 Livorno Morosini collapsed during a Serie B game against Pescara. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.[71]
5 May 2012 Mohamed Lemine Ould M'Boye  ? ASC Nasr Zem Zem Collapsed twenty minutes into a game against FC Legwareb-FC Trarza in a Mauritanian Premier League match. Died on arrival at hospital due to cardiac arrest. The game was postponed and replayed on 26 May, with Zem Zem winning 2-1.[72][73]
5 August 2012 Chinonso Ihelwere Henry 21 Delta Tulcea Henry collapsed during a friendly game against FC Balotesti in the 86th minute, after having been brought on for 10 minutes only. With the temperature being 40 Celsius degrees, doctors tried reviving the Nigerian player for 30 minutes before declaring him dead. Apparently, he underwent health tests a week prior to his death with no signs of problems detected. The cause was of his death was heart failure.[74]
2 April 2013 Quentin Margueritte 25 USON Mondeville Margueritte collapsed during a trainings session of his club USON Mondeville. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.[75]
20 April 2013 Dominik Rupp 23 FSV Hemmersdorf Rupp collapsed during a Saarlandliga game against Saar 05 Saarbrücken. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.[76]
16 May 2013 Berat Sacipi 31 SV Inter Itzehoe Sacipi collapsed during a Kreisklasse A Steinburg game against ABC Wesseln. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.[77]
21 June 2013 Alen Pamić 23 NK Istra 1961 Pamić collapsed during a retreat game for MNK Maružini, on a heart attack.[78]
21 July 2013 Yair Clavijo 18 Sporting Cristal The 18-year-old footballer from Sporting Cristal died during a reserve match against Real Garcilaso on 20 June 2013.[79] The autopsy determined he died from a cerebral edema with brain herniation caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.[80][81]
27 July 2013 Sékou Camara 27 Pelita Bandung Raya Camara collapsed on the field during his team's practice session in Bandung. He was rushed to the nearest hospital, but died on the way there. The cause of death was a heart attack.[82]
30 July 2013 Matthias Viereckl 19 SC Marchtrenk Viereckl died in a friendly game against Union Steinhaus.[83]
17 November 2013 Alex Marques[84] 20 G.D. Tourizense The Portuguese player Alexandre Marques suffered a cardiac arrest after seven minutes of the match between Tourizense and Carapinheirense.[85][86]
22 December 2013 David Paul 18 Hibernian The eighteen-year-old midfielder suffered a Sudden cardiac death after a game in the night of 21 to 22 December 2013.[87]
23 December 2013 Jamie Skinner 13 Tynecastle The thirteen-year-old midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest after a game in the Saughton Park in Edinburgh.[88]
19 May 2014 Akli Fairuz 27 Persiraja Died after colliding wth opposition goalkeeper during a match in the Indonesian Premier League. Fairuz was substituted and admitted to hospital but died due to internal bleeding the next day. [89]

See also[edit]


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  31. ^ Stefan Vrăbioru
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  35. ^ Hocine Gacemi
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  37. ^ Cristian Neamţu
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  46. ^ МЫ остались без Мендеса...
  47. ^ Ivan Karačić
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  53. ^ Скончался бывший игрок «Рубина»
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  59. ^ Il y a un an, Yannick Dago, footballeur de 17 ans d'Arras Football, trouvait la mort sur un terrain
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  62. ^ Player gets yellow card for fatal heart attack during match (UPDATE: No he didn't)
  63. ^ Liberian Player Dies Of Heart Failure!
  64. ^ Talented young footballer dies after he goes to see friend’s body
  65. ^ A fallen Star , 8 May 2010
  66. ^ Ex-Ghana U17 captain Owusu dies
  67. ^ Hommage à LOKISSIMBAYE LOKO, notre footballeur talentueux qui nous a quitté
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  83. ^ Matthias Viereckl † 13.01.1993 - 30.06.2013
  84. ^ Alex Marques Facebook page
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External links[edit]