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25-year-old goalkeeper drops dead on pitch after saving penalty for his team

25-year-old goalkeeper drops dead on pitch after saving penalty for his team

Arne Espeel was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.

A Belgian goalkeeper has died moments after he saved a penalty for his team.

Fox Sports reported that Belgian goalie Arne Espeel, who played for Winkel Sport B in the second provincial division of West Brabant, collapsed moments after blocking the ball.

Doctors tried to revive the 25-year-old with a defibrillator; however, the athlete was pronounced dead once he arrived at hospital.

According to Reuters, his club released a statement: "Winkel Sport is in very deep mourning by the sudden death of Arne Espeel.

Winkel Sport B

"We wish family and friends of Arne our heartfelt condolences in this heavy loss. Football is an afterthought."

An autopsy, which is scheduled for Monday, will reveal Espeel’s cause of death.

Patrick Rotsaert, sporting director of Winkel, told The Independent: “This is a disaster and a shock to everyone.

“Arne had been with the club all his life and was very loved.

"He was a wonderfully sympathetic boy, always in a good mood and ready to help.

"This is really a heavy blow.

"First of all for his family and also our whole club.”

Incidents like this are rare but not uncommon in the sport.

Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote passed away in 2017 during a training session while playing for Chinese side Beijing Enterprises.

Allstar Picture Library Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

The 30-year-old was then transferred to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A statement from Beijing Enterprises added that the young man had suddenly fainted on the field, and efforts to save him had failed as he passed away at 7 pm.

Shortly after, tributes began pouring out for the late Ivorian football player.

According to The Guardian, former Newcastle player Peter Beardsley told BBC Radio 5 live that Tiote had a ‘wicked’ sense of humour.

He said: “It was an unbelievable volley and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. I can still see him running up the end of the pitch. He must have run 70 metres to celebrate with the fans.”

Tiote, a defensive midfielder and signed for Newcastle in 2010 for a staggering £3.5 million (AUD $6.10m)

In 2011, he scored a memorable goal as Newcastle United came back from 4-0 down to draw with Arsenal in the Premier League.

He then joined Beijing Enterprises Group FC in 2017.

Featured Image Credit: Winkel Sport B. Amnad Bumrungvong / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, Sport, Football