Former All Star slams GAA for refusing to pay him from injury fund following on-pitch heart attack

Lavey captain and former Derry All Star Kevin McCloy was rushed to hospital last night Newsdesk

Former Derry All Star Kevin McCloy, who suffered a heart attack during a club game last August, has criticised the GAA for refusing to pay him from a special injury fund.

The 36-year-old father of two was left in a coma for three days after suffering a heart attack during a club game for Erin's Own last August and almost lost his life.

McCloy was shocked when he tried to access the GAA's players' injury scheme while he was unable to work and was refused payment.

"I had fought for my life for the last three months and the last people I thought I would have to try and fight would by the GAA," he told The Irish News.

"It just went against the whole ethos of what I thought the GAA was about.

"I always found that the GAA was about family and if anybody was in trouble we all looked after each other. But I soon found out that whenever it came down to it they threw me up a letter like everybody else and said 'good luck'."

McCloy says he was ineligible for the fund because he did not suffer an accidental bodily injury.

His wife Cathy pursued the matter with the GAA and eventually McCloy received a 'goodwill' payment from the association.

The GAA confirmed that McCloy's original application was rejected, a spokesperson said: "Kevin's injury is not covered as a pre-existing underlying condition.

"But the GAA made a payment to Kevin that would have matched the amount had his condition been covered by the player injury scheme."

The whole ordeal has left a sour taste for McCloy: "If truth be told for a few weeks and months there I didn't ever see myself sending the two children to a GAA pitch."

McCloy won an All Star for his performances with Derry in 2007. He also played hurling for Lavey and previously won an Ulster hurling medal for Derry.

McCloy's sudden collapse brought back memories of Tyrone player Cormac McAnallen (24), who died in his sleep in March 2004 from an undetected heart condition.