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13th Feb 2023

Goalkeeper dies seconds after saving penalty

Callum Boyle

The 25-year-old died seconds after saving the spot kick

A goalkeeper in Belgium tragically died from a heart attack just moments after he saved a penalty.

Arne Espeel, 25, was playing for Winkel Sport B against Westrozebeke on Saturday when the tragic incident occurred.

Espeel’s side were leading 2-1 at the time before Westrozebeke were awarded a second half penalty.

Despite the setback the 25-year-old was able to stand up tall and save the spot kick, diving the right way to make the save.

However fans and teammates were left stunned as moments later the ‘keeper collapsed straight to the floor of the pitch.

Medics raced onto the pitch as the emergency services rushed to the scene to try and save Espeel however despite their best efforts, the 25-year-old was pronounced as dead in the hospital.

The game, as a result, was abandoned.

Following confirmation of the news, Espeel’s club said: “Arne has played for us since he was a kid, and everybody really liked him.

“It’s impossible to understand how something like this could happen to someone so young.

“He had been a completely healthy young lad before.”

Winkel’s sporting director, Patrick Rotsaert, added: “This is a disaster, and a shock for us all.

“Arne was a lovely guy, and always ready to help others.

“It is a bitter blow, above all for his family and our entire club.”

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