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Dead Nigerian Footballers: An All Time List

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Who are the dead Nigerian footballers? Which Nigerian football player died recently? Which Nigerian footballer died on the field? Who is the Super Eagle player that died? What football player died? What killed Kelvin Odenigbo? What happened to Kelvin Odenigbo? Where was Samuel Okwaraji buried? Has anyone ever died in a football game? Who has died playing soccer? What football player died in a car accident?

See Also: How To Open Account With Sportybet Nigeria

Let me now take you through a long list of footballers who died, both recently and in time past, on and off the pitch.

List Of Dead Nigerian Footballers

Samuel Okwaraji

dead Nigerian footballers

Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji is a major name when it comes to the list of dead Nigerian footballers. He was 25 years old when he collapsed and died of congestive heart failure in the 77th minute of a 1990 World Cup qualifier match against Angola at the Lagos National Stadium in Surulere on 12 August 1989. He was born on 19 May 1964 and played for the Super Eagles as a midfielder.

Rashidi Yekini

dead Nigerian footballers

Yekini was ill for an extended period of time and in 2011, his health began failing and suffered from bipolar disorder, depression and some other undisclosed psychiatric conditions. He died in Ibadan on 4 May 2012 at the age of 48 and was buried at his residence in Ira, Kwara State. He was survived by his aged mother, brother, wives and children, among others. Yekini was born on 23 October 1963 and played for the Super Eagles as a striker.

Stephen Keshi

dead Nigerian footballers

Stephen Okechukwu Keshi represented Nigeria at the 1994 FIFA World Cup and the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations as captain. And as a coach, he led a Super Eagles squad to win the 2013 AFCON. He had a heart attack and died en route to the hospital on 7 June 2016 in Benin City, at the age of 54. His wife had died the previous December. He was born on 23 January 1962 and played for the Super Eagles as a defender.

Best Ogedegbe

dead Nigerian footballers

Ogedegbe played for Nigeria when they won the 1980 African Cup of Nations. He also represented the country at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. He died at the age of 55 at the University College Hospital in Ibadan on 28 September 2009. He had undergone eye surgery the previous week but had lapsed into a coma following complications from the operation. He was born on 3 September 1954 and played for the Green Eagles as a goalkeeper.

Teslim Balogun

dead Nigerian footballers

Nicknamed “Thunder” because of his powerful shot, Tesilimi Olawale Ayinde “Teslim” Balogun was also a member of the Nigerian national side for 12 years. Balogun died in his sleep on 30 July 1972, at the age of 45. He had eight children. He was born in 1927 and played for the Green Eagles as a Striker. The Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos is named in his honour.

Isaac Promise

dead Nigerian footballers

Promise first appeared on the senior squad for Nigeria in 2009, earning 3 caps, and scoring one goal. He was the captain of the Nigeria under-23 squad that won the silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He died of a heart attack on 2 October 2019, at age 31. He was born on 2 December 1987.

Mudashiru Lawal

dead Nigerian footballers

Lawal was an automobile mechanic before his football talents were discovered, and made his national team debut in 1975. He won 86 caps and scored 12 goals for Nigeria. He is the only player in Africa to have appeared at five consecutive Nations’ Cup finals (1976–1984). He died in his home in 1991. The Ashero Stadium in his hometown in Abeokuta was named after him upon his death. He was born on 8 June 1954 in Abeokuta and played for the Green Eagles as a midfielder and Captain.

Yisa Sofoluwe

dead Nigerian footballers

Sofoluwe won 40 caps and scored one goal for Nigeria between 1983 and 1988. He died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital on Tuesday 9 February 2021, after being diagnosed with mild cerebral atrophy, a brain disease, at the age of 53. He was born on 28 December 1967 in Abeokuta and played for the Super Eagles as a defender.

Thompson Oliha

dead Nigerian footballers

Oliha was a member of the 1994 African Nations Cup squad that won the title that year and was known for his powerful shots and abilities in the air. He retired from football early at the age of 27 because of a serious knee injury. Oliha was an assistant coach for the Kwara Football Academy when died at the age of 44 due to complications from malaria on 30 June 2013. He was born on 4 October 1968 and played for the Super Eagles as a midfielder.

Ajibade Babalade

dead Nigerian footballers

Babalade was part of the Super Eagles squad to the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal where Nigeria won the bronze. He died at the age of 48 of cardiac arrest on 4 September 2020, at the University College Hospital gate in Ibadan while he was being rushed there. He was born on 29 March 1972 and played for the Super Eagles as a defender.

Uche Okafor

dead Nigerian footballers

Okafor was a part of the victorious 1994 Nations Cup team. Okafor’s body was discovered by his wife in January 2011 shortly after he returned home from dropping off his daughter in school in their house in Little Elm, Dallas. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office said that he hanged himself in an upstairs hallway. Okafor’s family rejected the suicide ruling of the Little Elm Police Department, suspecting foul play. He was buried near his family home of Ubomiri in Imo state. Okafor was born on 8 August 1967 and played for the Super Eagles as a defender.

Justice Christopher

Christopher died on 9 March 2022, at the age of 40, having collapsed at a hotel he owned in Jos, Nigeria. He made his debut for the Super Eagles in 2001 and went on to accumulate 11 appearances. He was part of the Nigerian squad that went to the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan.

Amir Angwe

Angwe collapsed and died on the pitch of a heart attack on 29 October 1995 (aged 29) in an African Cup Winners’ Cup game against Mozambique side Maxaquene. at the Onikan Stadium, Lagos. He was born in 1966 and played for Julius Berger F.C.

Bobsam Elejiko

dead Nigerian footballers

Elejiko collapsed while playing a fifth-tier match with his team K. Merksem S.C. against F.C. Kaart, a team from Merksem, Antwerp, on 13 November 2011. Despite resuscitation attempts by the pitch side, he was pronounced dead and the match was abandoned. The cause of his death was later determined to be a traumatic rupture of the aorta. He was born on 18 August 1981.

Joshua Tamunobarabonye Pepple

dead Nigerian footballers

Pepple collapsed from a heart attack and died on 7 October 2012 on the pitch while in action for his Regional League side, Pomorzanin Nowogard, in a League game against Iskierka Szczecin. He was born on June 7.

Endurance Idahor

dead Nigerian footballers

Idahor collapsed during the match of his Sudanese club Al Merreikh against Alamal Atbara. He died in the ambulance. An autopsy report revealed that he suffered a circulatory collapse from a heart attack. He was born on 4 August 1984 and died on 6 March 2010.

Chinonso Ihelwere Henry

dead Nigerian footballers

Henry collapsed during a friendly game against CS Balotești in the 86th minute, after having been brought on for only 10 minutes. With the temperature being 40 °C, doctors tried reviving him for 30 minutes before declaring him dead. He had undergone health tests a week before his death with no signs of problems detected. The cause of his death was heart failure. He was born on 8 July 1991 and died on 5 August 2012.

Michael Umanika

dead Nigerian footballers

Umanika was a midfielder for Zagatala PFK who collapsed during a team training session in Zagatala. He died of a suspected heart attack on 15 August 2016.

Victor Omogbehin

dead Nigerian footballers

Omogbehin collapsed during a league match. He played in the Isthmian Football League game from Ilford against Lowestoft Town FC. He was born in 1988 and died on 18 August 2010.

Emmanuel Ogoli

dead Nigerian footballers

Ogoli collapsed on the pitch while playing for Ocean Boys F.C., and died later in hospital. He had earlier received a “horror injury” in a match on 14 November 2010. Both the Nigeria Premier League and the Nigeria Football Federation announced separate investigations into his death. He was born in 1989 and died on 12 December 2010.

Orobosan Adun

dead Nigerian footballers

Background to his eventual death states that goalkeeper Adun of Warri Wolves FC had been assaulted before an away match by thugs suspected to be fans of the opposition team, Enugu Rangers. Adun died 3 days later from an internal haemorrhage during a training session. He died on 26 May 2009 at the age of 26.

Shetemi Ayetigbo

dead Nigerian footballers

The Nigerian-Irish footballer, who played for Belvedere Football Club, collapsed and died during a Dublin & District Schoolboy League game against St Kevin’s Boys. Ayetigbo died on 31 May 2015 at the age of 16.

David Oniya

dead Nigerian footballers

On 13 June 2015, Oniya collapsed on the pitch three minutes after kick-off in Malaysia during a friendly between his club, T-Team and Kelantan. The defender died less than one hour later in hospital. His body was laid to rest at a Christian cemetery in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan two weeks later.

Chineme Martins

dead Nigerian footballers

During a league game against Katsina United on 8 March 2020, Martins collapsed on the pitch and was taken to Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, where the Nasarawa United F.C. midfielder was pronounced dead at the age of 22.

Moses Otolorin

dead Nigerian footballers

Otolorin played for IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan in the Nigeria Premier League. He was a member of the squad that won the African Cup Winners’ Cup in 1976. He died of cancer on 22 December 2014 at the age of 67. He was born in 1947 and played for the Green Eagles as a defender/midfielder.

Peter Anieke

dead Nigerian footballers

Anieke won the Challenge Cup with Stationary Stores Football Club in 1967 and 1968. His goal-scoring exploits earned him the nickname ‘Eusebio of Africa’. He was born on 2 March 1946 and died on 20 April 2015. He played for the Green Eagles as a Midfielder.

Arthur Madueme

dead Nigerian footballers

Arthur Madueme, fondly called ‘Arthur Belly’, is one of the dead Nigerian footballers. He died on September 20, 2019, after a brief illness. He played for Rangers International FC and Green Eagles as a Midfielder.

Sam Henshaw Ibiam

dead Nigerian footballers

Sam, popularly known as the Black Magnet, died on December 2, 2015, at his residence in Ebonyi State. He was born on 4 April 1925 and played for the Green Eagles. He was Nigeria’s first-ever national team goalkeeper.

Kelvin Odenigbo

Odenigbo drowned in the Beloye Lake in the Vitebsk region, Pastavy District, Belarus on 5 June 2021. Club doctors said an autopsy found “no violent marks on the body and there are no traces of alcohol in Kelvin’s blood.” He was born on 13 April 2001 in Nigeria and died at the age of 20.

Wilson Mene

Mene collapsed during a league match. He played in Metfone Cambodian League at National Olympic Stadium. He died on 8 May 2010.

Nduka Anyanwu

(Photo by Sebastian Schupfner/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Anyanwu played in defence/midfield in Germany for almost all of his career, having joined Eintracht Frankfurt as a 17-year-old. He collapsed on the pitch in September 2010 while playing for SV Geinsheim during a league match at Queichhambach and could not be revived.

Abdul Haruna

Haruna collapsed and died on the pitch playing in a friendly match between Kano Pillars and an amateur select side in Kano, Nigeria. He fell unchallenged and was immediately rushed to the nearby hospital before he was confirmed dead by the doctor on duty.

Ekundayo Ebenezer Mawoyeka

The 23-year-old striker collapsed in the 35th minute of the match against Yesilkoyspor at the Servergazi Stadium. Mawoyeka was confirmed to have suffered a cardiac attack and died upon arrival at the Denizli State Hospital.

Let’s now see a list of some famous non-Nigerian soccer players who died on the pitch while playing for their country/club.

Footballers Who Died While Playing

William Cropper – England   

He was 26 when he ruptured his bowel in a match against Grimsby Town which led to his death the next day on 13 January 1889.

James Dunlop – Scotland

At the age of 21, he got Tetanus from a fall on a piece of glass in a friendly game against Abercorn that led to his death ten days later on 11 January 1892.

John Henry Morris – England

Internal haemorrhage following a bad tackle in a bad-tempered match. A verdict of accidental death was returned on 12 November 1893. He was 26 when he died.

Walter Bannister – England  

Rupture of the kidney from a tackle in a game against Derby Junction; he died almost three weeks later on 23 November 1893. He was aged 24.

Teddy Smith – England          

Suffered severe concussion following a clash of heads in the Gloucestershire Cup semi-final against Eastville Rovers. He continued playing initially but was eventually forced to leave the game and died from his injury the next morning on 28 March 1894 at the age of 27.

James Logan – Scotland         

Pneumonia while playing and died on 25 May 1896 at the age of 25.

Joe Powell 1896 – England                

He died from blood poisoning and tetanus after breaking his arm in a game against Kettering on Town on 29 November 1896. He was 25 years old.

James Collins – England        

Died from Tetanus caused by on-field injury in January 1900.

Di Jones – Wales        

Gashed knee turned septic leading to death on 27 August 1902 at the age of 35.

David “Soldier” Wilson – England      

He died at the age of 23 from a heart attack on 27 October 1906 while playing against Burnley, probably from heavy smoking. He attempted to return to the field of play even when in great pain.

Tommy Blackstock – Scotland           

Collapsed after heading a ball in a game against St. Helens and died on 8 April 1907 at the age of 25.

Frank Levick – England          

Pneumonia during recovery from collar bone broken playing against Newcastle United on 1 January 1908. Attending Dr Selby of Attercliffe (Sheffield) noted heart failure at 1:40 pm on 1 February 1908 at his father’s house on 125 Plumpers Road Tinsley Sheffield

James Main – Scotland

Fatal stomach injuries during a Christmas Day match in 1909 against Partick Thistle at Firhill on a frost-bound pitch, after colliding with a Thistle player, led to death four days later on 29 December 1909 at the age of 23.

Bob Benson – England           

He died on 19 February 1916 from a burst blood vessel following a wartime game against Reading at the age of 33.

Horace Fairhurst – England   

Head injury in a league game at Barnsley in December 1920; died as a result of his injury early in the new year on 7 January 1921 at the age of 27.

Nikola Gazdić – Kingdom of Yugoslavia        

Died on 22 May 1921 from late-stage tuberculosis after a game against Građanski Zagreb, Hajduk’s greatest rival at the time.

Joshua Wilkinson – Scotland              

Goalkeeper died on 14 November 1921 from peritonitis two days after a game against Rangers at the age of 24.

Tom Butler – England                        

Died from tetanus eight days after fracturing his arm in a match on 11 November 1923.

Georges Le Bidois – France               

During a season-ending match of the Ligue, the goalkeeper Georges Le Bidois received a violent kick at his carotid from Swiss Aron Pollitz of US Suisse Paris, from which he succumbed in the locker room on 13 March 1927.  Upon the announcement of his death, the game was called off.

Albert Van Coile – Belgium

Perforated bowel after a collision with an opponent. Died one day later on 4 April 1927 at the age of 27.

Sam Wynne – England                       

Collapsed and died on the field of pneumonia during a match against Sheffield United on 30 April 1927. Although Bury claims it was a cerebral haemorrhage.

David Arellano – Chile                                   

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 on 3 May 1927 at the of 24.

John Thomson – Scotland      

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 on 5 September 1931 at the age of 22.

Jón Kristbjörnsson – Iceland  

A goalkeeper 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 at the age of 22.

Sim Raleigh – England                                   

Died on 1 December 1934 after a clash of heads with Brighton & Hove Albion’s Paul Mooney in a game, who subsequently retired.

Pfeiferlik – Czechoslovakia                

Fell and suffered a concussion in a game against Viktoria Žižkov. Died on the way to hospital on 3 December 1934.

Samuel Beattie – Republic of Ireland

Died on 10 February 1935 after a clash of heads after a corner in the 1934–35 FAI Cup quarter-final. Finished the game and went home. Became delirious the same night and was rushed to the hospital due to a cerebral haemorrhage.

Jimmy Thorpe – England

When playing as goalkeeper, Thorpe, a diabetic, 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 on 5 February 1936 led to the rule that players were no longer able to kick the ball out of the goalkeeper’s arms.

Jorge Chávez Boza – Peru                  

Playing in a friendly match for Atlético Chalaco, Chávez Boza had his femoral artery injured by Víctor Guarderas Lavalle from Alianza Lima. His limb was amputated which later led to his death on 12 November 1936 since having diabetes.

Asbjørn Rønneberg – Norway           

Collapsed from a heart attack during the away game against Ramnes IL. He died within minutes on 14 May 1939 after he was carried off the pitch at the age of 17.

Law Adam – Netherlands      

After retirement at the age of 24 due to heart problems in 1933, Adam was playing for Thor against Anasher in Surabaya in the Dutch East Indies on 15 May 1941. He suffered a heart attack which led to his death.

Isaac Angulo – Peru                           

Collapsed during a friendly match against a saltpetre workers team in Antofagasta, Chile. He died from a possible cardiac arrest on 22 March 1946.

Gustav Fähland – West Germany                  

Died from internal bleeding on 20 February 1949, a few days after a collision with an opposing player in a match between his club TSV Braunschweig and SV Werder Bremen on 13 February 1949.

Mitotônio – Brazil                              

Collapsed and died during a match on 1 April 1951 at the age of 35. Death attributed to stomach congestion.

John Kirkby – United States               

Collapsed and died on 4 April 1953 during a match. Death attributed to a cardiac arrest.

Constantin Tabarcea – Romania       

Collapsed and died on 14 July 1963 during a match. Death is attributed to unusual activity of the thymus gland.

Petar Radaković – Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia             

Collapsed during a training session due to a heart ailment and died on the way to the hospital on 1 November 1966.

Tony Allden – England                       

Struck by lightning during an FA Amateur Cup quarterfinal against Enfield, died the following day on 25 February 1967.

Pedro Berruezo – Spain         

Heart attack during a Segunda División match against Pontevedra. He had collapsed in previous matches against Alicante, Sabadell, and Barakaldo. He had received treatment for his condition, but collapsed for the last time at the Estadio Municipal de Pasarón on 7 January 1973, without ever regaining consciousness.

Pavão – Portugal        

Died from a heart attack during a league game on 16 December 1973.

Ángel Avilés – Peru                

Collapsed and died on the field on 14 December 1975 after a run with the ball, playing against Atlético Chalaco at the Estadio Nacional del Perú. He previously had heart complications since playing for Colegio Nacional Iquitos. A stadium in Moyobamba was named after him.

Tony Aveyard – England

Died from head injuries received during a match on 18 May 1977 at the age of 21.

Michel Soulier – Belgium                  

Died on 27 August 1977 as a result of an attack in a Belgian Cup away match against Anderlecht at Parc Astrid. Stade Michel-Soulier [fr] in Namur was named in his honor.

Renato Curi – Italy     

Died on 30 October 1977 from a heart attack while playing in a Serie A match against Juventus. Perugia’s ground is named after him.

Omar Sahnoun – France

Died from a heart attack during club training on 21 April 1980.

Hocine Benmiloudi – Algeria 

Died on 5 November 1981 during the Ligue 1 match against USM Aïn Beïda in Stade 20 Août 1955 (Algiers), from severe food poisoning.

Carlos Alberto Barbosa – Brazil

Died from infarction after fainting in the match against XV de Jaú on 7 March 1982.

Erik Jongbloed – Netherlands            

Struck by lightning during an exhibition game on 23 September 1984.

José Antonio Gallardo – Spain

Collided with an opponent on 21 December away to Celta de Vigo, underwent emergency surgery and returned home. Relapsed on 7 January with a cerebral haemorrhage and fell into an eight-day coma before dying on 15 January 1987.

Paulo Navalho – Portugal                  

Died on 23rd August 1987 from an acute myocardial infarction during a friendly match between Atletico and the UAE’s Al-Jazira Club.

Dursun Özbek – Turkey          

Died from a heart attack in a training match in Florya on 9 December 1987.

Antilles Sixto Rovina – Netherlands               

Collapsed at the moment he wanted to take a throw-in while playing against VV Hoogezand. He died of a heart attack on 7 February 1989.

David Longhurst – England    

Heart attack on the pitch while playing against Lincoln City. He was pronounced dead on 8 September 1990 on arrival at the hospital.

Michael Klein – Romania

Died from a heart attack during a training session on 2 February 1993.

Gábor Zsiborás – Hungary     

The goalkeeper collapsed into a coma during the training session for the Hungarian national team. After a week he died on 1 September 1993.

Mukandi Tsimaya – Zaire      

Received an elbow hit in the neck by an opponent player during a match against Panelefsiniakos. He died before going to the hospital on 30 April 1995.

Michael Goddard – Northern Ireland            

Died 25 August 1995 during a game against Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park after being struck in the chest by the ball.

Hédi Berkhissa – Tunisia                    

Died on 4 January 1997 from a heart attack in a friendly game against Olympique Lyonnais at Stade Chedli Zouiten

Waheeb Jabara – Israel                                 

Died on 4 April 1997 from a heart attack while playing against Bnei Yehuda.

Robbie James – Wales           

Died from Cardiomyopathy on 18 February 1998.

Axel Jüptner – Germany        

Died suddenly of a heart attack during training on 28 April 1998 at the age of 29.

Ferenc Biro – Romania          

Died in January 1999 after a crossbar fell on his head during a warm-up at the age of 15.

Ștefan Vrăbioru – Romania   

Undetected heart defect led to his collapse and he died on 24 July 1999 at the age of 23.

Daniel Orbeanu – Romania

Died in January 2000 after an infection from a simple sprain, misdiagnosed by four different hospitals.

Eri Irianto – Indonesia

Died in hospital due to heart failure after a game between Persebaya and PSIM Yogyakarta on 2 April 2000 t the age of 26.

Robert Mitwerandu – Poland            

Died on 6 May 2000 from a heart attack in his house’s bathroom, on the same night when his team lost 1–3 to Polar Wrocław.

Hocine Gacemi – Algeria       

Died on 21 May 2000 in a hospital in Paris, France, from a fractured skull after a clash of heads two days earlier.

Ivan Krstić – Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 

Struck by lightning during a training session and was killed instantly on 30 May 2000 at the age of 19.

Cătălin Hîldan – Romania      

Died on 5 October 2000 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.

Roman Pavelka – Czech Republic

Collapsed during physical training for his team and died on 14 February 2001 from a heart condition at the age of 33.

Serhiy Perkhun – Ukraine

Injured in a collision with Budun Budunov who also sustained serious head trauma. He suffered a brain haemorrhage and died eight days later on 29 August 2001.

Cédric Lestic – France           

Died during a training session on 20 November 2001 at André-Picquenot Stadium in Tourlaville as a result of a heart attack.

Cristian Neamțu – Romania              

Accidentally struck in the mandible by a teammate charging towards a goal. Internal bleeding was discovered, before he died one week later on 20 February 2002 at the age of 21.

Márcio dos Santos – Brazil    

Dos Santos suffered a heart attack and died in October 2002 after a game of his Peruvian club Deportivo Wanka, which scored a goal in the 3–1 win over Alianza Lima.

Hernán Gaviria – Colombia   

Struck by lightning during a training session, and was killed instantly on 24 October 2002 at the age of 32.

Giovanni Córdoba – Colombia

Struck by the same lightning that killed Hernán Gaviria, and died three days later from the injuries on 27 October 2002.

Stefan Toleski – North Macedonia

Collapsed during a match and later died in a hospital on 12 December 2002 at the age of 23.

Marvin Lee – Trinidad and Tobago

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 at the age of 21.

Marc-Vivien Foé – Cameroon                       

Collapsed while playing in the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final between his country and Colombia, and died shortly afterwards in hospital on 26 June 2003. An autopsy later revealed that the cause of death was hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Ali Bakar – Malaysia              

Suffered a heart attack and died on the field while playing in a charity football match in Singapore on 9 August 2003 at the age of 55.

Miklós Fehér – Hungary        

Died from cardiac arrest caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy while playing against Vitória on 25 January 2004.

Danny Ortiz – Guatemala      

Torn pericardium during a match against CSD Comunicaciones when he collided with Mario Rafael Rodríguez. He died later in a hospital on 29 February 2004.

Serginho – Brazil

Sudden cardiac death during a Campeonato Brasileiro Série A match against São Paulo on 27 October 2004. His death motivated a revamping of practices in medical assistance from clubs and stricter preventive measures on sports grounds in Brazil.

Cristiano Júnior – Brazil                     

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 pronounced dead upon arrival at Hosmat Hospital on 5 December 2004.

Paul Sykes – England 

Collapsed on the pitch 30 minutes into the game against Margate F.C. in the Kent Senior Cup Semi-Final on 12 April 2005. An undiagnosed heart defect was identified as the cause of his death.

Alin Paicu – Romania 

Collapsed after heading a ball. Died of a heart attack on 27 May 2005 at the age of 32.

Hugo Cunha – Portugal          

Died suddenly from a cardiac arrest during a football match played with friends in Montemor-o-Novo on 25 June 2005.

Victor Alfonso Guerrero – Colombia             

Died suddenly during a training match. He had lost consciousness on the ground and his body had arrived lifeless at the hospital on 11 April 2006.

Rasmus Green – Denmark     

Heart attack during a training session and was, despite revival attempts from teammates and a doctor, declared dead upon arrival at the local hospital on 12 June 2006. The number 7 was afterwards retired in his honor.

Gökmen Yıldıran – Turkey                             

Suffered a heart attack during training, he died before being taken to the hospital on 10 August 2006.

Mohamed Abdelwahab – Egypt                    

Died from an undetected heart defect during a training match on 30 August 2006 at the age of 23.

Matt Gadsby – England

The 27-year-old collapsed on the pitch during a Conference North game against Harrogate Town and died soon afterwards at Harrogate District Hospital on  9 September 2006. Medical tests revealed he died from a heart condition known as arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.

Nilton Pereira Mendes – Brazil                     

Collapsed on the pitch during a training session with his club and died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital on 18 September 2006. The 30-year-old Brazilian was a former top scorer and best player for the Kazakhstan Premier League.

Ivan Karačić – Bosnia and Herzegovina        

The 19-year-old had a heart attack and died during a training match in Široki Brijeg, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 27 March 2007.

Anton Reid – England

The 16-year-old collapsed and died on 19 August 2007 during youth team pre-season training. An inquest recorded a verdict of natural causes.

Antonio Puerta – Spain          

Collapsed during a match against Getafe C.F. The 22-year-old Sevilla FC player died later in hospital after several cardiac arrests on 28 August 2007. The autopsy revealed arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy

Chaswe Nsofwa – Zambia                 

The 28-year-old had sudden heart failure during a training match against Maccabi Be’er Sheva and died on 29 August 2007.

Phil O’Donnell – Scotland      

Collapsed during his team’s 5–3 win against Dundee United with what was later confirmed as a left ventricular failure. The 35-year-old died on the way to the hospital on 29 December 2007.

Guy Tchingoma – Gabon                   

Died shortly after a league game against Union Sportive O’Mbila on 9 February 2008. During the match, the 22-year-old collided with an opponent. He managed to finish the game but collapsed shortly after and medics were unable to revive him.

Hervé King – England

The 27-year-old collapsed and died on 16 February 2008, 17 minutes into a game against Three Bridges of an undetermined cause (heart attack suspected).

Hrvoje Ćustić – Croatia                                  

The 24-year-old collided with a concrete wall during a game against Cibalia and died in a hospital on 3 April 2008, 5 days later of severe head injuries.

Rustem Bulatov – Russia       

The 34-year-old felt ill during a game and died later that day in a hospital on 31 May 2008.

Jumadi Abdi – Indonesia                    

The 26-year-old 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 a hospital 8 days later of severe infection on 15 March 2009.

Víctor Hugo Ávalos – Paraguay         

Heart attack during a match against Salesianito. The 37-year-old died the next day on 2 April 2009.

Daniel Jarque – Spain

The 26-year-old died on 8 August 2009 from cardiac arrest following a training session with Spain RCD Espanyol.

Alexandru Iatan – Romania   

The Romanian goalkeeper (19) was hit in the abdominal area with a ball while trying to defend a penalty kick during team training. He continued his training but a few moments later he collapsed and died of cardiac arrest on 2 September 2009.

Neridson Estevao – Angola    

Died after collapsing during a second-division match between his club Progresso de Sambizanga and Benfica de Cabinda. The 26-year-old died later in a nearby hospital on 20 September 2009.

Maurizio Greco – Italy           

Collapsed during the match of his club TuS Güldenstern Stade against Lupo Martini Wolfsburg at Campers Höhe and the 25-year-old died later in the hospital on 15 November 2009.

Salem Saad – United Arab Emirates

The 31-year-old died of a heart attack during a training session with Al-Nasr on 18 November 2009.

Yannick Dago – Cameroon    

Collapsed during the match of his under-19 team club Arras Football against Etoile Sportive Anzin Saint Aubin and the 17-year-old died later from a heart attack on 24 January 2010.

Bartholomew Opoku – Ghana                       

The 19-year-old collapsed the day before while playing against league side Liberty. The Kessben F.C player was quickly taken to hospital and is understood to have stabilized overnight. His death was announced the next day by his club on 8 March 2010.

Daniel Robert de Jesus – Brazil                     

The 28-year-old suffered a heart attack and died during the warm-up prior to a Kazakhstan Premier League fixture against FC Kairat on  9 April 2010.

Goran Tunjić – Croatia                      

The 32-year-old suffered a heart attack and died in May 2010 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.

Ambrose Wreh – Liberia       

Heart failure in a match against Mighty Barrolle. The 24-year-old 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 at a hospital in Monrovia, Liberia on 2 May 2010.

Frederico da Costa Pinheiro – Brazil 

Suffered cardiac arrest during a Carioca Championship match against Cabofriense and the 26-year-old was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital on 8 May 2010.

Benjamin Owusu – Ghana     

The 21-year-old collapsed on 10 November 2010 while playing in Benin for Cavaliers FC Parakou.

Lokissimbaye Loko – Chad                 

The 30-year-old suffered a heart attack during a Ligue Midi-Pyrenees match and died on 12 April 2011.

Naoki Matsuda – Japan         

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, the 34-year-old died on 4 August.

Dhanraj Venkatesh – India

The 27-year-old collapsed toward the end of the game; reports suggest cardiac arrest as the cause of death on 21 March 2012.

Patrick Grange – United States                      

The 29-year-old died on 10 April 2012 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, after already having chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Piermario Morosini – Italy    

The 25-year-old collapsed on 14 April 2012during a Serie B game against Pescara. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.

Mohamed Lemine Ould M’Boye – Mauritania

Collapsed twenty minutes into a game against FC Legwareb-FC Trarza in a Mauritanian Premier League match. Died on 5 May 2012 on arrival at a hospital due to cardiac arrest. The game was postponed and replayed on 26 May, with Zem Zem winning 2–1.

Gerome Graham – Cayman Islands

The 20-year-old collapsed during a training session on 12 June 2012. The cause of death was determined to be hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Arjuna Luiz Venutto Ramos – Brazil

Collapsed during an under-17 championship match against Portuguesa Santista and died on 7 July 2012 having suffered cardiac arrest.

Victor Brännström – Sweden 

Collapsed shortly after scoring during a meeting in Division 2, in which the 29-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest and died after arriving at the hospital on 2 September 2012.

Jaouad Akaddar – Morocco               

The 28-year-old suffered a heart attack immediately after the end of a match on 20 October 2012.

Quentin Margueritte – France          

The 25-year-old collapsed on 2 April 2013 during a training session for his club USON Mondeville. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.

Dominik Rupp – Germany     

The 23-year-old collapsed on 20 April 2013 during a Saarlandliga game against Saar 05 Saarbrücken. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.

Berat Sacipi – Kosovo            

The 31-year-old collapsed on 16 May 2013 during a Kreisklasse A Steinburg game against ABC Wesseln. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.

Mohammad Fahad – Kuwait 

In a non-official match played in May 2013, the 32-year-old collided with another player, causing him severe bleeding in the brain and a coma until the dawn of 17 June 2013, when he died.

Alen Pamić – Croatia                         

The 23-year-old collapsed on 21 June 2013 during a retreat game for MNK Maružini of a heart attack.

Yair Clavijo – Peru     

The 18-year-old footballer from Sporting Cristal died on 21 July 2013 during a reserve match against Real Garcilaso. The autopsy determined he died from cerebral edema with brain herniation caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Sékou Camara – Mali            

Collapsed on 27 July 2013 on the field during his team’s practice session in Bandung. The 27-year-old  was rushed to the nearest hospital but died on the way there. The cause of death was a heart attack.

Matthias Viereckl – Austria   

The 19-year-old died in a friendly game against Union Steinhaus on 30 July 2013.

Héctor Sanabria – Argentina 

Suffered a heart attack in the 29th minute of a league match against General Lamadrid and the 27-year-old died before reaching the hospital on 27 August 2013.

Alex Marques – Portugal       

The 20-year-old had a cardiac arrest and died on 17 November 2013 after seven minutes of the match between Tourizense and Carapinheirense.

Jamie Skinner – Scotland       

Cardiac arrest during a game in the Saughton Park in Edinburgh and the 13-year-old died on 23 December 2013.

Kevon Carter – Trinidad and Tobago

The 30-year-old died of a heart attack after feeling chest pains during a training session in the morning on 28 February 2014.

Kodjo Etonam Adjassou – Togo         

Collapsed after 10 minutes of the National Premier League NSW Division Two match against Spirit FC on 3 May 2014.

Akli Fairuz – Indonesia

Died after colliding with the opposition goalkeeper during a match in the Indonesian Premier League. The 27-year-old was substituted and admitted to the hospital but died on 19 May 2014 due to internal bleeding the next day.

Albert Ebossé Bodjongo – Cameroon

Hit by a projectile while leaving the pitch. However, a post-mortem examination showed the 24-year-old may have actually died from a severe beating on 23 August 2014.

Carlos Barra – Chile              

Collapsed on 3 September 2014 from cardiac arrest after 20 minutes of a friendly match against Palestino and the 23-year-old could not be resuscitated.

Melissa Smith – England       

Collapsed on the field during a match against Euxton Girls. CPR and defibrillation were attempted on the 15-year-old at the scene but she was pronounced dead at the hospital on 19 October 2014.

Peter Biaksangzuala – India  

Died from spinal injuries that occurred as the 23-year-old landed awkwardly while celebrating a goal at 61 minutes against Chanmari West on 19 October 2014.

Dipak Adhikari – Nepal                      

The Nepalese born player and member of the Abu Dhabi Police’s team died on 10 November 2014 after collapsing during a match.

Ben Hiscox – England

While tackling during a league match against Mangotsfield Sports, the English footballer stumbled and fell backwards, hitting his head against the wall of Stoke Gifford’s clubhouse. The 30-year-old died a few days later on 28 March 2015.

Gregory Mertens – Belgium

The 24-year-old died on 30 April 2015 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.

Tim Nicot – Belgium

The 23-year-old died of heart failure on 11 May 2015, only two weeks after Gregory Mertens, during a tournament game.

Emanuel Ortega – Argentina            

The 21-year-old dies on 14 May 2015 after sustaining a fatal head injury against a perimeter wall during a Primera C match. All football activities under the Argentine Football Association were suspended the following week, and cushioning protection was made mandatory for such structures.

Cristian Gómez – Argentina  

The 27-year-old died of heart failure during a Primera B Nacional match on 24 May 2015.

Junior Dian – England

The 23-year-old collapsed in a pre-season friendly game at Whyteleafe on 7 July 2015.

Daniel Kowalski – Germany

Collapsed during a training session on 11 July 2015. The 24-year-old had been cleared to continue playing despite previous heart problems.

Sergei Filippenkov – Russia   

The 44-year-old died on 15 October 2015 during a friendly match between veteran teams in Pensa.

Stelios Markousis – Greece   

Suffered a heart attack during a training session and the 18-year-old died shortly afterwards on 2 September 2015.

Hugo Suárez – Spain  

After approaching the bench during a Primera Regional match against Miranda to report severe chest pains, the 28-yer-old collapsed and could not be resuscitated on 13 March 2016.

Stefan Petrovski – Australia               

Struck by lightning while training on 5 April, and the 18-year-old died in hospital on 1 May 2016.

Patrick Ekeng – Cameroon

Collapsed in a match against FC Viitorul Constanța seven minutes after he came on from the bench and was taken to hospital, where the 26-year-old died less than two hours later on 6 May 2016.

Bernardo Ribeiro – Brazil      

The 26-year-old Friburguense player collapsed during a friendly match before being taken to a hospital, where he died of a suspected heart attack on 7 May 2016.

Jeanine Christelle Djomnang – Cameroon

The 26-year-old goalkeeper collapsed during her warm-up before a match in Cameroon. She died of a suspected heart attack on 9 May 2016.

Antony Stott – Australia                     

The 26-year-old amateur footballer collapsed 10 minutes into a match against Sandon Point and died en route to the hospital on 16 July 2016. The cause of death is suspected to have been a cardiac arrest.

Kieran McDade – Scotland    

Suffered a cardiac arrest during football training and the 13-year-old died on 26 August 2016.

Ben Idrissa Dermé – Burkina Faso    

The 34-year-old died of a heart attack during a French cup match on 11 September 2016.

Dan Wilkinson – England                   

Suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch in an Integro League Cup match against Brighouse Town. The 26-year-old died in the following hours in hospital on 13 September 2016.

Dominic James – Jamaica     

Collapsed after five minutes of the Manning Cup match between St George’s College and Excelsior High, and the 18-year-old was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital on 19 September 2016.

Jack Atkinson – England

Collapsed on the pitch after suffering a heart attack during an under-18s match on 13 November 2016.

Ismail Mrisho Khalfan – Tanzania

After struggling to get off the ground when tackled by an opponent during the Tanzania Under-20 League match against Mwadui, the 19-year-old collapsed and died of a heart attack on 4 December 2016.

James Moorfoot – England    

Collapsed due to cardiac arrest during a match against Hedon Rangers and the 28-year-old died on the pitch on 11 February 2017.

Moïse Brou Apanga – Gabon

The 35-year-old defender for FC 105 Libreville died on 26 April 2017 after suffering a heart attack during team training.

Gofaone Tiro – Botswana

The 26-year-old collapsed from a heart attack during the team training session and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital on 27 April 2017.

Ben Walker – England                       

Collapsed due to cardiac arrest during an under-15s league game against Ise Lodge Hawks on 28 April 2017.

Aseged Tesfaye – Ethiopia     

The 46-year-old collapsed from a heart attack during the team training session and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital on 3 June 2017. Doctors described the cause of death as Mitral Valve Regurgitation.

Cheick Tioté – Ivory Coast     

The 30-year-old collapsed and lost consciousness during a training session and was pronounced dead later that day on 5 June 2017 with a suspected death cause of a heart attack.

Luc Jacobs – Netherlands      

Collapsed early in the second half of the match against SPV Vlierden. The player’s heart was restarted using a defibrillator and CPR was attempted for half an hour, but the 26-year-old died in hospital that night on 17 September 2017.

Shota Maminashvili – Georgia          

The 31-year-old goalkeeper collapsed during his warmup routine ahead of the Erovnuli Liga 2 match against FC WIT Georgia and died in hospital on 1 October 2017.

Choirul Huda – Indonesia

While the goalkeeper was trying to retrieve the match ball from an opponent during a match against Semen Padang, he collided with his teammate Ramon Rodrigues and suffered injuries to his lower jaw and head. The 38-year-old was briefly conscious immediately after the collision but later succumbed to his injuries in a local hospital on 15 October 2017.

Joel Lobanzo – Belgium         

Lobanzo collapsed in training with the U-19 team on 31 October. The 17-year-old died a day later during the night of 1–2 November 2017. It is believed that a heart attack was the cause of death.

Izzy Dezu – Republic of Ireland                      

The 17-year-old became ill during a league match in the Athletic Union League Complex, as his club Shelbourne faced off against St. Kevin’s Boys. He died later on the day on 12 December 2017, at a Hospital in Dublin.

Nacho Barbera – Spain                      

Collapsed on the field during a youth team match against Ontinyent on 3 February 2018.

Danilinho – Brazil                              

The 32-year-old suffered a heart attack during training on 13 February 2018.

Bruno Boban – Croatia          

The 25-year-old collapsed during a match between Marsonia and Požega Slavonia. After several minutes of attempted resuscitation by medical staff and a retired doctor who was spectating, he was pronounced dead on 24 March 2018.

Luyanda Ntshangase – South Africa  

The 21-year-old was struck by lightning during a friendly game on 1 May 2018. He died three days later from his injuries.

Mohamed Farouk – Egypt

The 33-year-old collapsed from a heart attack during a friendly match in the Aba el-Balad district in Minya on 29 June 2018.

Tijmen Steenbergen – Netherlands   

The 13-year-old goalkeeper died in a C Youth league match on 1 September 2018, after a collision with the Left back.

Mamadou Camara – France 

Collapsed from a heart attack during training with USON Mondeville on 14 September 2018.

Ramon Neto da Costa – Brazil                       

The 31-year-old attacker died during a friendly game on 6 October 2018.

Fodé Sidibé – Ivory Coast                               

The defender collapsed during a training session on 22 January 2019.

Francisco Cavada – Spain                  

Collapsed in the 22nd minute of a Primera Regional match against CD Valdaliga. Attempts to resuscitate the 32-year-old were unsuccessful and he died on 27 January 2019.

Herman Tsinga – Gabon        

Collapsed after challenging for a header in a Championnat National 1 match against Missile. Received cardiac massage on the field for twenty minutes but the 30-yer-old died en route to the hospital on 2 March 2019.

Faty Papy – Burundi   

The 28-year-old had a heart attack while playing in a match in Eswatini on 25 April 2019.

Ludwin Flores Nole – Peru                 

Suffered a heart attack after drinking ice-cold water at the end of a match on 8 May 2019.

Edwin Boakai – Liberia                      

The goalkeeper collapsed and died during a training session on 17 June 2019.

Derrick Williams – Wales                  

The 30-year-old suffered sudden cardiac arrest during a friendly match on 6 July 2019.

Agustín Martínez – Uruguay  

After being substituted in a league match against Cerro with a knee injury, Martínez suffered a cardiac arrest on the bench. The 17-year-old was transferred to the hospital but died three days later on 26 September 2019.

Renan Henrique Santos – Brazil        

The 16-year-old collapsed during a training session on 7 November 2019. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.

Radhakrishnan Dhanarajan – India   

Dhanarajan was playing in an All India Sevens tournament at Perinthalmanna in Malappuram when he suddenly collapsed after suffering a loss of breath and chest pain. The incident occurred in the 27th minute of the match between FC Perinthalmanna and Sastha Thrissur. Though the 29-year-old was stretchered off and admitted to a hospital nearby, he could not be revived and died on 29 December 2019.

Ricky Yacobi – Indonesia

The 57-year-old retired footballer died of a heart attack while playing a friendly game with several teammates and journalists on 21 November 2020.

Sajjad Ali – Iraq

Died of a heart attack while playing a league match against Bismayah on 27 November 2020.

Alex Apolinário – Brazil                     

Went into cardiac arrest at the 27th minute of a league match. The 24-year-old was revived after several attempts and taken to the hospital, where he was put in an induced coma and died four days later on 7 January 2021.

Abdul Rahman Atef – Egypt   

The 23-year-old died while playing a league match against El Rowad on 8 March 2021.

Dejan Oršuš – Croatia                       

Collapsed during a league match against Radnički after suffering a cardiac arrest, died in the hospital later that same day on 11 April 2021.

Tremaine Stewart – Jamaica 

Stewart collapsed while playing football the morning of the 18th in Spanish town, and despite being rushed to the hospital the 33-year-old died later that day on 18 April 2021.

Giuseppe Perrino – Italy        

Died Of a Heart Attack During a Memorial Match For His Late Brother on 1 June 2021.

Viktor Marcell Hegedüs – Hungary

The 18-year-old collapsed during a training warmup on 22 June 2021.

Jajov Adenan  – Italy

Jajov Adenan, 30, died from cardiac arrest on 11 July 2021.

Imad Bayumi – Egypt             

The retired 45-year-old suffered from a circulatory collapse during a friendly match on 16 July 2021.

Alexander Shishmarev – Russia         

The 23-year-old goalkeeper in a Russian training match collided with an opponent. He was treated for ‘more than an hour before passing away on 28 August 2021.

Dylan Rich – England 

The 17-year-old died after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest during a match on 2 September 2021.

Jens De Smet – Belgium

Amateur player Jens (27) collapsed and died on 4 September 2021.

Guillermo Arias – Venezuela             

In the quarterfinals of the third division tournament, the 31-year-old collapsed on the field and died of cardiac arrest on 25 September 2021.

Benoît Sabard – France         

With 20 minutes to go before the end of the game, the 49-year-old collapsed on 8 October 2021.

Christophe Ramassamy – France                  

The 54-year-old footballer suffered a fatal heart attack. Barely after 20 minutes of play, he collapsed on the pitch on 15 October 2021. The emergency services could do nothing to revive him.

Jony López – Paraguay                       

Suffered a fatal heart attack while playing football on 12 November 2021.

Karol Setniewski – Poland                  

The 13-year-old had a headache and died after the game on 17 December 2021.

Ahmed Amin – Egypt 

Collapsed in the team locker room due to having suffered a sudden cardiac arrest after a training session. Immediately, attempts to resuscitate the player failed. The 23-year-old was then rushed to a hospital nearby but it is reported he died along the way on 22 December 2021.

Taufik Ramsyah – Indonesia              

Suffered a fractured skull after colliding with a Wahana FC player in a Liga 3 Riau game. The 20-year-old goalkeeper succumbed on 22 December 2021 to his injuries after being in a coma for several days as well as undergoing surgery for his fractured skull.

Mukhaled Al-Raqadi – Oman

Collapsed during warm-up for the game vs Suwaiq Club in the Omantel league on 23 December 2021.

Marin Ćaćić – Croatia                                   

Died in hospital, after a cardiac arrest on 21 December 2021 during training.

Sofiane Loukar – Algeria                   

Collapsed in the middle of a match and the 30-year-old died instantly on 25 December 2021.

Marcos Menaldo – Guatemala                     

According to various reports, the 25-year-old central defender was participating in training with his teammates when he fainted, for which he was transferred to a medical center where his death was confirmed on 3 January 2022.

Alexandros Lampis – Greece

Lampis collapsed on 2 February 2022 on the field after five minutes after the 21-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest. There was no defibrillator available in the stadium and it took an ambulance 20 minutes to reach the stadium. The match against Ermionida was abandoned following the incident.

This article was updated 2 months ago



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