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, both during matches and training, FIFA (Federation of International Football Associations) considered mandatory cardiac testing, already in place for years in some countries, such as Italy.
By 2009, FIFA player PCMA (Pre-Competition Medical Assessment) included family history, heart rhythm, sounds, and ECG (electrocardiogram) results. UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) required extensive medical tests, including ECG (electrocardiogram) and echo (echocardiogram) for players in the Europa League 2011–12. Constant monitoring has been advised.
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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|
|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.|
|7 January 1921||Horace Fairhurst||27||Blackpool||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||Late stage tuberculosis after a game against Građanski Zagreb, Hajduk's greatest rival at the time.|
|14 November 1921||Joshua Wilkinson||24||Dumbarton||Goalkeeper who died from peritonitis two days after a "particularly rough" game against Glasgow Rangers.|
|11 November 1923||Tom Butler||Port Vale||Died from tetanus eight days after fracturing his arm in a match.|
|4 April 1927||Albert Van Coile||27||Cercle Brugge||Perforated bowel after a collision with an opponent. Died one day later.|
|3 May 1927||David Arellano||24||Colo-Colo||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.|
|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.|
|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, when playing as goalkeeper he 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||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.|
|1 April 1951||Mitotônio||35||Ceará||Collapsed during a match. Death attributed to stomach congestion.|
|August 1953||John Kirkby||23||Wrexham||Collapsed during a match. Death attributed to a Cardiac arrest.|
|14 July 1963||Constantin Tabarcea||26||Petrolul Ploieşti||Collapsed during a match. Death attributed to unusual activity of the thymus gland.|
|25 February 1967||Tony Allden||Highgate United||Struck by lightning during an FA Amateur Cup quarterfinal against Enfield.|
|1 July 1973||Nikola Mantov||23||FK Osogovo||Heart attack in the 10th minute of a league game against FAS 11 Oktomvri.|
|16 December 1973||Pavão||26||F.C. Porto||Heart attack during a league game.|
|18 May 1977||Tony Aveyard||21||Scarborough||Head injuries received during match.|
|30 October 1977||Renato Curi||24||Perugia||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.
Son of Jan Jongbloed, goalkeeper of the Dutch national team in both the 1974 and 1978 FIFA World Cup Final.
|15 January 1987||José Antonio Gallardo||25||CD Málaga||Collided with an opponent on 21 December away to Celta de Vigo, had life-saving surgery and returned home. Relapsed on 7 January with a cerebral haemorrhage and fell into an eight-day coma before dying.|
|23 August 1987||Paulo Navalho||20||Atlético Clube de Portugal||Acute myocardial infarction during a friendly match between Atletico and the U.A.E.'s Al-Jazira Club.|
|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||Heart attack on the pitch while playing against Lincoln City. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.|
|2 February 1993||Michael Klein||33||Bayer Uerdingen||Heart attack during a training session.|
|1 September 1993||Gabor Zsiboras||33||MTK||The goalkeeper collapsed into a coma in the training session of Hungarian national team. After a week he died.|
|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.|
|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.|
|29 October 1995||Amir Angwe||29||Julius Berger F.C.||Collapsed and died on the pitch of a heart attack.|
|4 January 1997||Hedi Berkhissa||24||Esperance Sportive de Tunis||Heart attack in a friendly game against Olympique Lyonnais at Stade Chedli Zouiten|
|4 April 1997||Waheeb Jabara||23||Hapoel Taibe||Heart attack while playing against Bnei Yehuda.|
|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.|
|24 July 1999||Stefan Vrăbioru||23||Astra Ploieşti||Undetected heart defect that led to his collapse.|
|January 2000||Daniel Orbeanu||18||Caraimanul Buşteni||Died after an infection from a simple sprain, misdiagnosed by four different hospitals.|
|February 2000||John Ikoroma||17||Al-Wahda S.C.C.||Collapsed on the pitch and later died in hospital.|
|2 April 2000||Eri Irianto||26||Persebaya Surabaya||Died in hospital due to heart failure after a game between Persebaya and PSIM Yogyakarta.|
|21 May 2000||Hocine Gacemi||24||JS Kabylie||Died from a fractured skull after clash of heads.|
|30 May 2000||Ivan Krstić||19||Radnički Niš||Struck by lightning during a training session, and was killed instantly.|
|5 October 2000||Cătălin Hîldan||24||Dinamo Bucharest||Died while playing for Dinamo; In the 74th minute of a friendly game against Olteniţa, Hîldan 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||Injured in a collision with Budun Budunov who also sustained serious head trauma. He received 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.|
|October 2002||Marcio Dos Santos||28||Deportivo Wanka||Dos Santos suffered a heart attack after a game of his Peruvian club Deportivo Wanka, which scored a goal in the 3–1 win over Alianza Lima.|
|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.|
|December 2002||Stefan Toleski||FK Napredok||Collapsed during a match and later died in hospital.|
|9 March 2003||Marvin Lee||21||Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 football team||Sustained neck and spinal injuries in a collision with Landon Donovan during the 2001 CONCACAF U-20 Tournament on 20 March 2001. Paralysed, he died two years later on 9 March 2003 having stopped breathing.|
|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.|
|9 August 2003||Ali Bakar||55||Malaysia and Penang||Suffered a heart attack and died on the field while playing in a charity football match in Singapore in 2003.|
|25 January 2004||Miklós Fehér||24||Benfica||Cardiac arrest caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy while playing against Vitória.|
|29 February 2004||Danny Ortiz||27||CSD Municipal||Torn pericardium during a match against CSD Comunicaciones when he collided with Mario Rafael Rodríguez. He 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.|
|27 May 2005||Alin Paicu||32||Minerul Mătăsari||Collapsed after heading a ball. Died of a heart attack.|
|12 June 2006||Rasmus Green||26||Næstved BK||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.|
|30 August 2006||Mohamed Abdelwahab||23||Al-Ahly||Died from undetected heart defect during a training match.|
|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.|
|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.|
|27 March 2007||Ivan Karačić||19||NK Široki Brijeg||Heart attack and died during a training match in Široki Brijeg, Bosnia and Herzegovina.|
|19 August 2007||Anton Reid||16||Walsall||Collapsed and died during youth team pre-season training. An inquest recorded a verdict of natural causes.|
|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||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.|
|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.|
|16 February 2008||Hervé King||27||Ringmer||Collapsed 17 minutes into a game against Three Bridges of an undetermined cause (heart attack suspected).|
|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|
|31 May 2008||Rustem Bulatov||34||Torpedo SDYuSShOR Kaluga||Felt ill during a game, died later that day in a hospital.|
|15 March 2009||Jumadi Abdi||26||PKT Bontang||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.|
|3 April 2009||Víctor Hugo Ávalos||37||Villa Florida||Heart attack during a match against Salesianito. He died the next day.|
|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.|
|8 Aug 2009||Daniel Jarque||26||RCD Espanyol||Cardiac arrest following a training session.|
|15 November 2009||Maurizio Greco||25||TuS Güldenstern Stade||Collapsed during the match of his club TuS Güldenstern Stade against Lupo Martini Wolfsburg at Campers Höhe and died later in the hospital.|
|24 January 2010||Yannick Dago||17||Arras Football||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.|
|6 March 2010||Endurance Idahor||25||Al-Merreikh||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.||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.|
|May 2010||Goran Tunjić||32||Mladost FC||Heart attack during a 5th Division match. It was widely reported that Tunjić had been booked by the referee for diving, though such reports were later refuted by some sources.|
|2 May 2010||Ambrose Wleh||24||Invincible Eleven||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.|
|18 August 2010||Victor Omogbehin||22||Ilford F.C.||Collapsed during a league match. He played in the Isthmian Football League game from Ilford against the Lowestoft Town FC.|
|8 May 2010||Wilson Mene||22||Prek Pra Keila||Collapsed during a league match. He played in Metfone Cambodian League at National Olympic Stadium.|
|10 November 2010||Benjamin Owusu||21||Cavaliers FC Parakou||Collapsed while playing in Benin.|
|12 December 2010||Emmanuel Ogoli||21||Ocean Boys F.C.||Collapsed on the pitch while playing a league match, and died later in hospital.|
|12 April 2011||Lokissimbaye Loko||30||FC Beaumontois||Heart attack during a Ligue Midi-Pyrenees match.|
|4 August 2011||Naoki Matsuda||34||Matsumoto Yamaga F.C.||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 two days, he died on 4 August.|
|13 November 2011||Bobsam Elejiko||30||K. Merksem S.C.||Collapsed and died while playing a 5th tier match for K. Merksem S.C. against F.C. Exc. Kaart|
|15 March 2012||D. Venkatesh||27||Bangalore Mars||Collapsed toward the end of the game; reports suggest cardiac arrest as the cause of death.|
|14 April 2012||Piermario Morosini||25||Livorno||Collapsed during a Serie B game against Pescara. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.|
|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.|
|5 August 2012||Chinonso Ihelwere Henry||21||Delta Tulcea||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.|
|20 October 2012||Jaouad Akaddar||28||Hassania Agadir||Suffered a heart attack immediately after the end of a match.|
|2 April 2013||Quentin Margueritte||25||USON Mondeville||Collapsed during a trainings session of his club USON Mondeville. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.|
|20 April 2013||Dominik Rupp||23||FSV Hemmersdorf||Collapsed during a Saarlandliga game against Saar 05 Saarbrücken. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.|
|16 May 2013||Berat Sacipi||31||SV Inter Itzehoe||Collapsed during a Kreisklasse A Steinburg game against ABC Wesseln. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.|
|17 June 2013||Mohammad Fahad||32||Al-Sulaibikhat||In a non-official match played in May 2013, Mohammed Fahad got into collision with another player, causing him a severe bleeding in the brain and coma until the dawn of June 17, 2013, when he died.|
|21 June 2013||Alen Pamić||23||NK Istra 1961||Collapsed during a retreat game for MNK Maružini, of a heart attack.|
|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. The autopsy determined he died from a cerebral edema with brain herniation caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.|
|27 July 2013||Sékou Camara||27||Pelita Bandung Raya||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.|
|30 July 2013||Matthias Viereckl||19||SC Marchtrenk||Died in a friendly game against Union Steinhaus.|
|17 November 2013||Alex Marques||20||G.D. Tourizense||Cardiac arrest after seven minutes of the match between Tourizense and Carapinheirense.|
|23 December 2013||Jamie Skinner||13||Tynecastle||Cardiac arrest during a game in the Saughton Park in Edinburgh.|
|19 May 2014||Akli Fairuz||27||Persiraja||Died after colliding with 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.|
|23 August 2014||Albert Ebossé Bodjongo||24||JS Kabylie||Hit by a projectile while leaving the pitch. However a post-mortem examination showed he may have actually died from a severe beating.|
|19 October 2014||Peter Biaksangzuala||23||Bethlehem Vengthlang||Died from spinal injuries that occurred as he landed awkwardly while celebrating a goal at 61 minutes against Chanmari West.|
|10 November 2014||Dipak Adhikari||Abu Dhabi Police Force Team||The Nepalese born player and member of the Abu Dhabi Police's team died after collapsing during a match.|
|30 April 2015||Gregory Mertens||24||Sporting Lokeren||Belgian footballer Gregory Mertens died of heart failure, three days after collapsing during a reserve team match against Genk having never regained consciousness after receiving CPR during the first half.|
|11 May 2015||Tim Nicot||23||Beerschot-Wilrijk||Belgian footballer died of heart failure, only two weeks after Gregory Mertens, during a tournament game.|
|14 May 2015||Emanuel Ortega||21||San Martín de Burzaco||Argentine footballer passes away after sustaining fatal head injury during match.|
|24 May 2015||Cristian Gómez||27||Club Atlético Paraná||Argentine footballer died of heart failure during a Primera B Nacional match.|
|31 May 2015||Shetemi Ayetigbo||16||Belvedere||During a Dublin & District Schoolboy League game against St Kevin's Boys, Ayetigbo, a Nigerian-Irish footballer collapsed and died.|
|13 June 2015||David Oniya||30||T-Team||Nigerian footballer collapsed three minutes after kick-off in a friendly match against Kelantan and died less one hour later in hospital.|
|7 July 2015||Junior Dian||23||Tonbridge Angels||Collapsed in a pre-season friendly game at Whyteleafe.|
|15 October 2015||Sergei Filippenkov||44||FC Zenit Penza||Died during a friendly match between veteran teams in Pensa.|
|1 May 2016||Stefan Petrovski||18||Melaka United||Struck by lightning while training on 5 April, died in hospital.|
|6 May 2016||Patrick Ekeng||26||Dinamo București||Collapsed in a match against FC Viitorul Constanța seven minutes after came on from the bench and was taken to hospital, where he died less than two hours later.|
|7 May 2016||Bernardo Ribeiro||26||Friburguense||Brazilian footballer for Friburguense collapsed during a friendly match before being taken to a hospital, where he died of a suspected heart attack.|
|9 May 2016||Jeanine Christelle Djomnang||26||Femina Stars Ebolowa, Cameroon national team||Cameroonian goolkeeper, collapsed during her warm-up before a match in Cameroon. She died of a suspected heart attack.|
|15 August 2016||Michael Umanika||20||Khazar Lankaran||Nigerian midfielder for Khazar Lankaran collapsed during a team training session in Lankaran. He died of a suspected heart attack.|
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