A 25-year-old football player has collapsed and died after leaving the field during a match on Saturday afternoon in Victoria’s Central Highlands League in central Victoria.
Emergency services were called just before 2.30pm to Learmonth Football Ground, north-west of Ballarat, where the Dunnstown Football and Netball Club reserves player had collapsed.
Efforts were made to revive the Ballarat man, but he died at the scene.
The secretary of the Dunnstown Football Club, Marg Keating, told The New Daily the player collapsed while sitting on the bench after coming off the field with five minutes left on the clock.
Ms Keating said the 25-year-old said he didn’t feel well, grabbed his chest and collapsed.
“The [football] trainers knew it wasn’t good,” Ms Keating said, adding that “the ambulance were very quick to get there, but unfortunately they weren’t successful,” .
Ms Keating said the dead man was a fantastic and well-respected player and the entire club had been left “devastated” by the loss.
“I’ve never seen so many players so physically upset,” she said. “They loved him.”
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The senior game at the Learmonth Football Ground was cancelled, with the Central Highlands Football League releasing a statement hailing the dead player.
“There was nothing which occurred within the match which led to the player’s collapse,” the statement said.
John McGregor, who was at the ground at the time, was quoted by the Ballarat Courier as saying the man’s friends refused to give up hope as a paramedics fought to revive him.
“After 45 minutes a senior paramedic announced to the crowd they had failed to revive him,” Mr McGregor was reported as saying.
“The Dunnstown supporters, players and club officials were devastated. They had kept vigil hoping that the young man would survive.
“Tears flowed. Disbelief that a player and friend was gone.”
Learmonth Police told The New Daily an investigator had been sent to Ballarat Base Hospital to visit the player’s family on Saturday evening.
The death is not being treated as suspicious.