According to Wikipedia records, there are 120 professional footballers who died while playing a game or directly from injuries sustained while playing or died after being taken ill on the pitch. The first recorded death was on January 13, 1889, of William Cropper (26), an English footballer who played for Staveley FC. The latest death is that of former Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote, who died at just 30 years old. With these in mind, let us look at other famous footballers who died on the pitch (in the last decade).

3. Marc-Vivien Foe -June 2003

Cameroon midfielder Marc- Vivien Foe died after collapsing with a heart attack during an international match in France. The 28-yearold fell to the ground unchallenged in the 72nd minute of a Confederations Cup semifinal against Colombia in Lyon. Medical staff tried to restart his heart for 45 minutes but without success.

Foe had spent the previous season on loan at Manchester City from French club Olympique Lyon and also played for RC Lens.

2. Phil O’Donnell – December 2007

Motherwell captain Phil O’Donnell died after collapsing suffering a cardiac arrest towards the end of his side’s Scottish Premier League game against Dundee United. The 35-year-old fell to the ground just as he was about to be replaced with Marc Fitzpatrick near the end of Motherwell’s 5-3 victory.

O’Donnell was treated for about five minutes on the field before being taken to a waiting ambulance. But his death was later confirmed by the club.

1. Daniel Jarque – August 2009

Espanyol captain Daniel Jarque died after a cardiac arrest following training. The 26-yearold midfielder had been training in Coverciano, Italy, where his club’s squad were on a preseason camp.

Club doctors and Italian paramedics tried to revive Jarque using CPR and a defibrillator, without success. His death came two years after Sevilla defender Antonio Puerta, 22, died of heart failure after collapsing during a league game.

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