Gregory Mertens
Gregory Mertens died after suffering a heart attack Getty

Belgian footballer Gregory Mertens has died days after suffering a heart attack during a match.

Mertens, 24, had been in an induced coma on life support since collapsing while playing a reserve match for his club Lokeren on 27 April. Team doctor Kris Peeters said Mertens suffered heart failure.

The official Twitter account of the Belgian FA confirmed his passing on 30 April.

Lokeren tweeted: "With sadness we announce the loss of Gregory. We wish family and friends all the strength.

A statement from the club read: "Today something happened which no one could ever dare to predict. Much too soon, we are saying goodbye to Gregory Mertens.

"We are a football club. Everyone in and around the club lives and breathes football. But suddenly something happens which makes us realise football is just football. Today is such a time."

Mertens was given CPR after collapsing during the first half of the match against Genk. A spokesman from the club on 29 April said: "We are waiting for the worst news to come." Chelsea goalkeeper and Belgium international Thibaut Courtois was quick to pay his respects.

Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj also paid tribute to his compatriot, tweeting: "RIP Gregory Mertens my thoughts go out to his family and friends at this sad time."