AFL: Australian player dies after being bumped

A popular West Australian amateur footballer has died in hospital after collapsing during a match. Photo / Thinkstock.
A popular West Australian amateur footballer has died in hospital after collapsing during a match. Photo / Thinkstock.

A popular West Australian amateur footballer has died in hospital after collapsing during a match.

Josh Henderson, aged in his early 20s, was playing a C-grade Australian Rules match for Mosman Park Football Club in their first game of the year yesterday when he was knocked as he went for the ball during the second quarter.

"It was in the course of the game, a bump, going for the ball, nothing untoward and he died of a heart attack at the hospital about an hour later," club president Ian Earl told AAP.

"It wasn't even a big bump to speak of. They went for the ball, he stood up, and took two steps and went down."

Mr Earl said the club was devastated by the news.

"Everybody's mortified," he said.

Mr Henderson had been a popular member of the club, where he had been playing for four years, and was among the top five players.

"Without any shadow of a doubt, he would be the fittest, strongest, biggest bloke in our club and he was playing reserves because he had been injured and he was only playing reserves because that's the sort of bloke he was," Mr Earl said.

"He was a big strong young man, very popular young man.

"He was just everybody's friend, a complete guy, a wonderful character, one of the most popular guys in the club."

Deaths during Australian Rules matches are not common, but nor are they rare, with three deaths reported last year.

In September last year the captain of the Bullcreek Leeming Amateur Football club died as the result of an on-field collision during the club's grand final game.

Kyle Thomas, 25,who had a pre-existing medical condition, passed way in hospital after his family switched off his life support.

Also last September, Melbourne man Shaun Bergin died after being knocked unconscious in a suburban Melbourne match 16 days earlier.

The 26-year-old had been in a coma after hitting his head on the ground following a mid-air collision while playing for Balwyn in an Eastern Football League semi-final.

His death came three weeks after another Victorian teenager, Nathan Prince, died following a match in Ballarat.

The 17-year-old went into cardiac arrest after receiving a knock to his body during a game on August 20.

He died in hospital on August 31, with an existing but previously undetected medical condition believed to have contributed to his death.

Another young man, Kyle Thomas, 25, died of head injuries after colliding with another player during a match in Perth last September.

He was placed on life support in hospital but died the following day.

Police said at the time that Mr Thomas had a pre-existing medical condition and had been warned about the dangers of continuing to play.

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