Where at one hand Football is considered one of the most watched games in the world. While, at the other, it is one of those dangerous sports where the entire body is exposed to any kind of physical injuries. Death is inevitable in most scenarios where the injuries are serious or acute exhaustion leading to cardiac arrests. Here is a list of 10 footballers who tragically lost their lives while succumbing to the injuries they received in the field. These are top 10 footballers who died while playing.
#10- Peter Biaksangzuala
Peter Biaksangzuala was an Indian footballer who died on 19th October 2014 . He was celebrating a goal after he landed awkwardly on his neck while somersaulting and just collapsed in the field. He was rushed to the hospital and taken t the ICU thereafter. His inmates thought he would recover, but his spinal injuries were beyond recovery. The league he was playing for at that time decided to retire his shirt number 21. He was just 23 years old.
#9- Endurance Idahor
Endurance Idahor was a Nigerian football player who was playing for a Sudanese club when he collapsed midfield and later died on his way to the hospital. His autopsy report revealed that he suffered a circulatory collapse from a heart attack. He was 25 years old.
#8- Akli Fairuz
See also; Top 10 Richest Soccer Players.
#7- Piermario Morosini
On 14th April 2012 during a match in Italy, Morosini stumbled on the ground and lost consciousness as he tried to get up. He received medical attention on the field as a defibrillator was used on him. Morosini suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on the field and after he had been taken to the hospital, the match was abandoned. Some players reportedly ‘left the field in tears’. Italian media reports were alerted of his death after an ‘explosion of shouts and tears’ by his teammates who had accompanied him to the hospital. He was 25 years old.
#6- Marc Vivien Foe
On 26 june 2003, Foe collapsed in the 72nd minute of the match. Although he was still alive upon the arrival of the medical team in the stadium, he dies shortly afterwards. The medics spent 45 minutes attempting to restart his heart but all in vain. The first autopsy did not conclude the reason of his death but the encon autopsy concluded that it was due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a hereditary condition known to increase the risk of sudden death during physical exercise. His manager wanted to substitute him minutes before his heart failure observing how tired he seemed but Foe signalled that he wanted to continue. He was just 28.
#5- Hrvoje Ćustić
Hervoje Custic was a Croatian footballer who played as a midfielder. He suffered severe head injuries after colliding with a concrete wall positioned about three meters from the sideline which separates the pitch from the stands. Following a surgery, he was in an induced coma and his condition was stable until 2nd April 2008 when an infection caused rapid increase in his body temperature worsening his condition. The hospital confirmed that he was brain dead that same day.
#4- Antonio Puerta
On 26th August 2007, Puerta collapsed and lost consciousness in the penalty area due to a cardiac arrest. After recovering and being substituted, he was able to walk to the dressing room where he collapse again. He was taken to the intensive care and received cardiopulmonary resuscitation. On August 28th, his doctor reported that Puerta had suffered from multiple organ failure and irreversible brain damage as a result of multiple prolonged cardiac arrests due to a hereditary disease known as arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia. He was 22 years old and was expecting his first child at the time of his death.
#3- Paulo Sérgio Oliveira da Silva
On 27th October 2004, Serginho suffered from a fatal cardiac arrest when he was 60 minutes into the match. It is said his heart stopped at the spot still he was taken to the hospital. A later autopsy report showed Serginho’s heart to weigh 600 grams, twice the size of an average human heart. He was 30 years old.
See also; 10 Most Tragic Deaths in History.
#2- Miklos Feher
On 25th January 2004, during a match broadcasting live on television, Feher suddenly bent forward, seemingly in pain and then thudded to the ground backwards. Members of both teams rushed to his aid before the medical personnel arrived and a Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed on the pitch until an ambulance rushed him to the hospital. Most of the players on the field began to cry while he was still on the pitch realizing something serious had happened. The Portuguese media covered his condition throughout the day and his death was confirmed before midnight. The cause being Cardiac arrhythmia brought on by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. His club retired the number 29 shirt in his memory which he wore during his time. He was 24 years old.
#1- Phil O’Donnell
Phil O’Donnell was a Scottish footballer and had twice won the Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year Award. On 29th December 2007 during a game, just as he was about to be substituted, he collapsed. He was treated on the pitch for five minutes and taken to the hospital. He was pronounced dead later that evening. A postmortem examination was carried out on January 1st 2008 and it was revealed that he died of a left ventricular failure. He was survived by his wife and their daughters Megan and Olivia and sons Christopher and Luc. He was 35 years of age.