Wednesday 21 February 2018

Family of young soccer player who died on pitch too upset to speak

Shetemi Ayetigbo collapsed yesterday afternoon
Shetemi Ayetigbo collapsed yesterday afternoon
A teenage footballer died after collapsing on the pitch in Dublin

Conor Feehan and Emma Jane Hade

The family of a gifted young soccer player has been plunged into mourning after he died suddenly during a game at the weekend.

Shetemi Ayetigbo collapsed yesterday afternoon while playing for his beloved Belvedere Football Club in a match in Dublin.

The 16-year-old died during a break in play when Belvedere FC were taking on St Kevins Boys FC in a Dublin District Schoolboys League game.

It is understood the Shetemi, known affectionately by his friends as Shay, collapsed during the match at St Kevin's grounds on Shanowen Road, close to DCU in Dublin 9, which kicked off shortly after midday yesterday.

Shetemi Ayetigbo collapsed yesterday afternoon
Shetemi Ayetigbo collapsed yesterday afternoon

Shetemi grew up in Donabate, living in the Ballisk Court estate for many years with his older and younger brothers Walle and Victor and their mother Lola.

They moved to the College Court area around two years ago.

Today his family were too upset to talk.

One friend who had known Shetemi since he was a small boy said he always had a smile on his face.

"It sounds like a cliche, but I never saw him without a smile. He was just the the happiest person I knew," said Sergey Kurapov (20).

"We would always play football together, me, Shetemi and his older brother. We would play in the car park or on the local green. Shetemi loved football, it was his life," he added.

"I was shocked when I head he had died. I could not believe it. He was very fit, very healthy. I still can't believe it," he explained.

"At first there was something on Facebook about it, but I could not believe it. Then a friend called me and I knew it was true," said Sergey.

"I last met him around two weeks ago. He was playing football of course," he added.

A club member last night said that everyone at Belvedere FC is in "shock" and they are now "focused on supporting the family at this time".

Read more: Soccer club in mourning after teenage footballer (16) dies following collapse

"It is a big shock to everyone. Our primary focus is to try and support the family as best we can."

The teenager transferred to the club just over a year ago and has since proved to be "very popular" with his teammates.

"He was a very, very popular player and teammate. He was with the club a year and travelled in from Donabate to play for us, we are based in Fairview," one member said.

"It is really just devastating for everyone involved. The players are very distraught. We are obviously working with the players and parents to try and give them whatever support they need to get through it. He was very popular, the lads are devastated."

The young student, who had two brothers, is understood to have lived with his family in the Donabate area.

It is believed that the club's defibrillator was "produced very quickly" and used, but "nobody was able to do anything". A statement released by the club last night said their "thoughts and prayers are with his family at this tragic time"

Irish Independent

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