English footballer dies after collapsing on pitch

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A non-league footballer died after collapsing on the pitch during a match on Monday, his club has announced.

Shaw Lane defender Daniel Wilkinson, 26, collapsed during a cup game at Brighouse’s St Giles Road stadium.

He was treated on the pitch before being taken to Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax.

“He was such a great lad. I don’t how we move on,” Craig Elliot, manager of the Barnsley-based club, who play in England’s eighth tier, told BBC Sport.

“It’s just devastating. Everyone went to the hospital. We all deal with it in different ways, but we just have to support the family as much as we can.

“His mum and dad are such brave people. We signed him in pre-season, he had just finished university at Loughborough and moved in with his girlfriend in Sheffield.”

The Northern Premier League Division One South side led the preliminary-round game 2-0 when Wilkinson collapsed with an hour played. The match was abandoned.

Wilkinson started his career at Hull City, signing his first professional contract in 2010, before loan moves to Harrogate Town and North Ferriby United.

He later played for Loughborough University, Scarborough Athletic and Goole, and joined Shaw Lane from Rushall Olympic in the summer.

In a statement, club chairman Craig Wood added: “The club would like to thank everyone for their heartfelt messages and thoughts that we have received throughout the night. There are no more words at this time.”

It happened just a day after former Burkina Faso international Ben Idrissa Derme died during a French Cup tie for amateur side AJ Biguglia.

BBC Sport

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