Football clubs around the country have been paying tribute to a 17-year-old player who died after collapsing on the pitch during an FA Youth Cup match last week.
Dylan Rich, a player for West Bridgford Colts, collapsed in the fifth minute of the club’s preliminary FA Youth Cup fixture with Boston United on Thursday, September 2.
The game at Regatta Way in Nottinghamshire was quickly abandoned and East Midlands Ambulance Service arrived with police and an air ambulance to assist the player.
Rich tragically died in hospital on Sunday, an incident which his club West Bridgford has said will leave everyone involved “devastated and heartbroken.”
In a statement released on Sunday, the club said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his parents Mike and Anna, his sister Lucy and Dylan’s family, friends and teammates.
“The club would like to thank everyone within the Colts and wider football community for the hundreds of heartfelt messages and thoughts that we have received over the past few days.”
Boston United, who were also involved in this fixture, issued a statement of their own in which they offered support to people who saw the collapse.
A spokesperson for the club said: “Boston United are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of West Bridgford youngster Dylan Rich.
“The Pilgrims’ thoughts are firmly with the Rich family at the present time – as well as all at West Bridgford FC.
“United will offer any support necessary to their own young players – and staff – who witnessed Thursday’s tragic incident.”
Lincoln City were quick to pass on their condolences, tweeting in reply: “Our thoughts are with Dylan’s family, friends and everyone at West Bridgford Colts. Rest in peace, Dylan.”
The English Football Association also paid tribute, saying: “Everyone at the FA is deeply saddened by the tragic news. We would like to recognise the courageous response of all those who reacted quickly to the situation at the FA Youth Cup fixture on Thursday evening and we thank the emergency services for their efforts.”
A freelance journalist who was at the game tweeted that the player had suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch.
The young player suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch, and another in the ambulance on the way to hospital. He’s stable and being looked after. His family have passed on to a close friend that they have found great comfort in the kindness expressed by all..
— Chris Williams (@Chris78Williams) September 3, 2021