Goodison Park honours the passing of a young fan; EFT remembers others
On Wednesday night, when England faced Germany in the New Wembley friendly, eleven year old Everton fan Rhys Jones was shot at as he played football in a pub car park. The fatal bullet went through his neck. His parents Stephen and Melanie with son Owen attended Goodison Park on Saturday to see Everton play Blackburn, where both sets of fans and club members joined the Jones' in applauding in Rhys' memory. EFT sends its condolences to the Jones'.
Goodison Park join the Jones' in memory of Rhys.
Saturday's football began with the announcement of another young death. On Monday 20th August, Anton Reid of Walsall's youth side collapsed during training and died. Yesterday, Ray Jones, an 18-yr old QPR striker, died in the early hours after being in a vehicle collision with a bus, which also killed two other occupants in the same vehicle. EFT sends its condolences too to those who knew and were involved with both players.
During the La Liga match on Saturday evening between Sevilla and Getafe, which ended in a 4-1 home win, Sevilla's left wing-back Spanish international Antonio Puerta collapsed around the 35th minute in Sevilla's penalty area. It appeared he suffered unconsciousness but walked off the pitch, only to collapse again in the dressing room. He was taken to hospital where he was given cardiopulmonary resuscitation to revive him and was said to have suffered from a breakdown in the circulation of his blood, which is very serious to have placed him in the Intensive Care Unit. EFT sends all the best for Puerta's speedy recovery.
[Tuesday 28th August 2007: Yesterday, Antonio Puerta died as he failed to regain consciousness in the Virgen del Rocio hospital where he was taken to after his collapse. Something which compounds his death is that he was due to be a first-time father in six weeks time. Sevilla was due to kick off their game with AEK Athens last night in the Champions League third round qualifier in Greece but that was understandably postponed. The European Super Cup fixture with the European Champions AC Milan this Friday may well go ahead. EFT conveys its condolences to Antonio Puerta's family, friends, team-mates and those who knew him.]
Football is competitive, thrilling, snarly, ecstatic and heartbreaking. When there is a death in connection, it is a time to reflect on how life holds no one back in any aspect of society if is their time of calling. Three young lives have perished, two of which were within the footballing ranks, one a possibility, all three in the making. Cameroon and Manchester City midfielder Marc Vivien-Foe collapsed during play on duty for country in June 2003, and died. Hungary and Benfica striker Miklos Feher collapsed during the domestic game with Vitoria Guimares in January 2004, and later died in hospital. You may recall I wrote an article on Hinckley United's Matt Gadsby, who collapsed during the game with Conference North rivals Harrogate United in September 2006 and died in hospital.
Football as a profession can be lucrative or fun, or even both, but mainly it is to be enjoyed. I joined some friends on Saturday evening, among whom was a Manchester United fan, a Spurs fan and a Chelsea fan, and we usually have a discussion or debate on our teams' coming matches and the respective records against each other. We reflected on Saturday on the deaths this month connected to football and past fatalities, and toasted in their memory. Football is about more than life and death, until one happens. And then it is put back into its perspective.