Anthony Hayes playing for Heaton Mersey Lacrosse
Anthony Hayes was captain of Heaton Mersey Lacrosse Club Heaton Mersey Lacrosse Club

Anthony Hayes, from Stockport, died suddenly after collapsing following a football match with friends on Wednesday. The Manchester Evening News reported he had suffered from a suspected heart attack.

Hayes represented England at under-19 level, as well as being part of England senior squads. In a statement on English Lacrosse's website, Hayes was described as an "extremely popular member of the lacrosse community".

Hayes' coach at Heaton Mersey, Richard Smith, said: "Anthony was a great, fit lad who was at the centre of everything at the club.

"I coached him from an early age and he was my 'mini me'. We all loved him hugely and the whole club is in a real state of shock."

England Men's Head Coach Tom Wenham added: "I was lucky enough to be involved with Ant firstly with the under-19s in 2008 and more recently following his initial selection for senior squad training in the build up to the 2016 European Championships.

"Ant played his lacrosse like he lived his life, with energy, passion and an enormous sense of fun. He leaves an irreplaceable hole but also a huge number of cherished memories."

The incident follows the death of 13-year-old Kieran McDade, following his collapse while playing football at Dunbeth Football Club, less than a month ago.

Dunbeth FC announced McDade's death on their Facebook page on August 26, eight days after his collapse on August 18.

In the last month, Nigerian footballer Michael Umanika, 20, died after suffering a suspected heart- attack on pitch while training for his team Khazar Lankaran. The Burkina Faso international, Ben Idrissa Derme, 34, also suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on the pitch during a French Cup tie for amateur team AJ Biguglia. And former Hull player, Dan Wilkinson, 26, died after collapsing on the pitch during a non-league Cup match between Shaw Lane and Brighouse Town.

According to the British Heart Foundation, sudden death in athletes is uncommon, but is two to four times more likely in athletes than in non-athletes. According to the charity's website, between 1-in-50,000 and 1-in-100,000 athletes die due to undetected heart problems each year.

The high profile case of Fabrice Muamba who survived a heart attack while playing for Bolton during an FA Cup clash against Tottenham in 2012, led to calls for increased screening of athletes for heart conditions.

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