The soccer community is in mourning this week after Arne Espeel, a Belgian goalkeeper, died during the second half of his game on Saturday. He was just 25.
Espeel, who played for Winkel Sport B in the second provincial division of West Brabant in Belgium, had just saved a penalty kick, but would soon collapse to the ground afterward. Despite medical staff treating him with a defibrillator, he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
“This is a disaster and a shock to everyone,” Winkel sporting director Patrick Rotsaert said, according to Nieuwsblad.
“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.”
Family and friends gathered at the field to lay flowers and wreaths in the goal where Espeel collapsed. Espeel’s teammates were also present for the ceremony.
“The ball was still in play. Our goalkeeper got up as fast as possible to receive the ball, but then he fell,” assistant coach Stefaan Dewerchin said, via the Daily Mail.
“It was really terrible to watch. All the players showered together after the incident. When the message came that our goalkeeper was dead, it was an unusually heavy blow. I think some players still don’t realize exactly what happened.”
An autopsy was scheduled to have taken place on Monday to determine the cause of Espeel’s death.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.