Twice in the last few days players have had heart attacks on the pitch. Sevilla and Spain midfielder Antonio Puerta died on Tuesday after suffering several heart attacks, starting on the pitch during a game against Getafe. Evidently he suffered from a hard-to-diagnose heart defect which left him susceptible to arrhythmia. He was buried today in a private ceremony following a memorial at the Sevilla stadium attended not just by Sevilla fans but also supporters of city rival Real Betis. Sevilla’s Champions League match against AEK in Athens has been postponed. Puerta was 22, and expecting his first child with his girlfriend in October.
In addition, a Carling Cup match between Leicester and Nottingham Forest was abandoned after Leicester defender Clive Clarke, on loan from Sunderland, collapsed in the dressing room at half-time and had to be defibrillated twice. He’s all of 26, but is currently awake and alert while under observation in hospital.
I know that this is not unprecedented – it’s not that long since Marc Vivien Foe died on the field during an international game – but it’s always distressing – partly on selfish grounds (as in, shit I’m 10 – 15 years older with a family history of heart disease, and entirely unfit, what’s my heart up to?) and not, in thinking of the family Puerta left behind. Condolences to them all, for a dreadful and very public loss.
Filed under: "the other football" |