Devon footballer dies after mid-game 'heart attack'

Football pitch Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Nick Cole reported breathing difficulties shortly before half-time

A football team is mourning the loss of a player who collapsed during a game and later died.

The player, named locally as Nick Cole and thought to be in his 20s, was playing for Bow AAC against Thorverton on Saturday when he fell ill. The match was abandoned.

Devon and Exeter Football League chairman Roger Spray said: "Obviously it's extremely tragic.

"From what we can gather it was a heart attack."

'Wanted fresh air'

Bow chairman Doug Coles was at the match and said the player reported breathing difficulties two minutes before the half-time whistle.

"At half-time he came off the pitch then he came back out saying he wanted a bit of fresh air and then he started saying his legs were like jelly.

"We have a paramedic in the club and he was at home but we got him up there in three or four minutes. He tried to calm him down and it went from there, really.

"Two ambulances came and an air ambulance in the end.

"The air ambulance came and took him away, but within an hour they pronounced him dead."

The Devon and Exeter Football League has cancelled Bow's forthcoming fixtures at the club's request.

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