News National Footballer dies after Gold Coast drug overdose

Footballer dies after Gold Coast drug overdose

Riki Stephens is being remembered as a much loved member of his football team and friendship group. Photo: Facebook
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Tributes are flowing for Victorian footballer Riki Stephens who took a cocktail of amphetamine-like substances on an end-of-season trip to Queensland.

Heathcote football club president Andrew Conforti on Friday morning paid tribute to the 27-year-old who was hospitalised on the Gold Coast after taking the drug last weekend.

“We were lucky enough to have Riki for 12 months … he got out there and was a star,” Mr Conforti told AAP.

“There’s a lot of people hurting – he was an easy person to love.”

Friends turned to Facebook to honour Stephens.

Truely one of the best Riki Stephens!! Rest easy great man! 💙❤️

Posted by Brad Perry on 2016年10月20日

“Words can’t describe the shock we are all feeling after the loss of this absolute legend. You were a fierce competitor on the field and the one we all couldn’t wait to have a beer with off the field,” Joel Osbrough posted on Friday.

“Always the life of the party and never seen without your cheeky grin.

Never a dull moment. Rest easy chicken. Only the good die young.”

Rest in peace Riki Stephens. You were an absolute legend of a bloke. My thoughts are with your family ❤️

Posted by Dillon Fiorini on 2016年10月20日

Abbi Weatherald said she couldn’t fathom the pain his family must be going through.

“You could put a smile on anyone’s face. My heart breaks for your family and close friends, a pain that I could never imagine. Rest easy Riki Stephens,” she posted.

Mr Stephens and his Heathcote Saints teammates were on the Gold Coast when he ingested a drug at a pub last weekend.

The well-liked footballer had finished playing his first season with Heathcote, having been recruited from Melbourne, when he went on the ill-fated holiday.

Toxicology tests have ruled out the drug flakka, dubbed the zombie drug for its effects on users.

Police say the drug was actually a cocktail of “amphetamine-type substances”, including MDMA as well as a synthetic version of LSD, also known as an N-Bomb.

Effects in users included hallucinations.

Two men have been charged with supplying a dangerous drug.

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