Former Wolmer's footballer collapses during ball game, dies

  • Jan 28, 2019

The Wolmer's Boys' School community is mourning the death of former student athlete Calvin Kelly who collapsed suddenly and died while playing a game of football on Sunday. Kelly represented Wolmer's in football and was a member of the Super Cup-winning Wolmer's team in 2016.

Cardiac arrest is suspected but no autopsy has yet been conducted to ascertain cause of death. 

"I got a call that he was playing ball in the Tavern area and he just fell down and died, It is very tragic, and unexpected," Wolmer's Boys' High school football head coach Alex Thomas told Loop News reporter Claude Mills, 

Thomas had been the assistant coach during the successful Super Cup championship run of 2016. Kelly was a first team member of the team that lifted the cup by clipping  Cornwall College 1-0. The team eventually lost to Jamaica College in the Manning Cup finals that year. 

"Kelly was the starting left back at the time. He had come to Wolmer's from Oberlin High and he spent lower and upper sixth at Wolmer's. He was jovial, humble, easygoing and got along well with his peers. He wasn't afraid to come and ask for help if he needed it. He didn't get a scholarship to go overseas, and he wasn't in the local Premier League but I had heard he was trying to go overseas to continue his studies," Thomas said. 

The risk of elite footballers suffering sudden cardiac death is “much higher than previously believed”, extensive new research published in The New England Journal of Medicine, revealed last year. The research shows the likelihood of sudden cardiac death in footballers is one in 14,700 annually

A study conducted by St George's, University of London, analysed more than 11,000 players over a 10-year period from the ages of 16-17. Eight died during exercise – six from conditions which went unidentified, and two who were diagnosed with the underlying condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and were advised against competitive sport.

Diseases that affect the heart muscle - cardiomyopathies - are silent killers. The first symptom can be the heart suddenly stopping. Two years ago, St George's College skipper Dominic James got a seizure and collapsed just two minutes into a Manning Cup game. He got medical assistance on the pitch, but was rushed to the Medical Associates Hospital where he was pronounced dead.