A history of sudden deaths in football

  • Aug 28, 2007: Spain and Sevilla defender Antonio Puerta (pic) died on Tuesday following a heart attack, becoming the latest footballer to die suddenly while playing.  

  • April 11, 2006: Colombian teenager Victor Alfonso Guerrero, 17, died during a training session for the reserve side of Colombian First Division club Envigado FC. He collapsed and lost consciousness, and died on the way to hospital. 

  • June 25, 2005: Hugo Cunha, a 28-year-old midfielder with Portuguese top flight side Uniao Leiria, died while playing a match with friends. Cunha suffered a heart attack and was unable to be resuscitated by the emergency services. 

  • Oct 27, 2004: Brazilian Serginho, 30, collapsed during a Brazilian First Division match between his club Sao Caetano and Sao Paulo and later died. His death caused a huge controversy after the autopsy revealed that his heart weighed 600 grams, twice the normal size. Sao Caetano, the club’s president and the doctor were sanctioned by Brazil’s sporting authorities. 

  • Jan 25, 2004: Benfica’s Hungarian international striker Miklos Feher, 24, collapsed during a Portuguese Premier League match against Vitoria Guimaraes and never regained consciousness. The autopsy revealed he had suffered from a heart malformation. 

  • June 26, 2003: Cameroon international Marc-Vivien Foe died while playing against Colombia in the semi-final of the Confederations Cup. The Manchester City player collapsed in the centre circle and all efforts to save him failed. An autopsy revealed he had a disorder of his heart’s electrical system. 

  • December 2002: Macedonian defender Stefan Toleski died of a suspected heart attack. He collapsed halfway through the first half of his side FK Napredok’s league match against Kumanovo and later died in hospital. 

  • February 2000: John Ikoroma, a 17-year-old Nigerian youth international, suffered a heart attack during a friendly in the United Arab Emirates. He was in a trial match for Al-Wahda against Kazakh club Astona when he collapsed 20 minutes before the final whistle. He died in hospital. 

  • 1997: Emmanuel Awanegbo, a Nigerian playing in Germany, died after only 12 minutes of play. The death was attributed to cardiac arrest. 

  • 1995: Amir Angwe, 29, a striker for the Julius Berger Club of Nigeria, collapsed a minute before the end of an African Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final match with Maxaquene of Mozambique. Doctors believe he died of a heart attack. 

  • 1989: Nigerian international Samuel Okwaraji, who had signed as a professional for AS Roma in Italy after stopping his university studies in Rome, died during a World Cup qualifier between the Super Eagles and Angola. 

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