Boy, 7, dies after collapsing on football field


A 7-year-old boy died in hospital on Thursday evening after he collapsed on the field of football club AZSV's school in Aalten earlier that afternoon. Exactly what happened to the boy is still unclear, the Gelderlander reports.

Young Thijn was immediately helped by experts who happened to be on the sidelines of the field. An ambulance picked him up soon after his collapse and rushed him to hospital, where he passed away later in the evening. 

Gerben Houwers, spokesperson for the football school, is devastated by the news, he said to the newspaper. According to him, Thijn was initially still conscious and able to talk to them. "Nobody thought it would get so serious. But he was rushed to the hospital", the spokesperson said. "It is the most terrible thing that can happen to you as a club. And more as parents. We have good contact. We all share the sadness."

Thursday was Thijn's first training with the club. Houwers met him and his father last week. "His son was going to play with us. Then it is always first a screening Where can he play best, how does it go, who is Thijn. And then this. He wasn't even an official member yet."

The AZSV school has been introducing young kids between the ages of 4 and 7 to the sport for 10 years. They play short matches against each other on small fields. Houwers has no idea how Thijn's death will impact the other kids in the school. The club held a private meeting for parents in the football club's cafeteria on Thursday night. About 25 parents attended.

"Children are still too young to understand this", Houwers said to the Gelderlander. "Parents will receive heartbreaking questions. 'If I go play football tomorrow, I'll die too.' Fortunately we also had victim aid during the evening in the cafeteria. That was really very good. We were able to talk to each other very well. The coming days will further show how we should deal with this. That will also happen in consultation with the parents of Thijn. We'll keep holding each other's hands in this terrible time."