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Barnsley man dies watching teenage son playing football

Mark Wildsmith, who died while cheering his son on during a football match

Mark Wildsmith, who died while cheering his son on during a football match

A proud dad died of a massive heart attack just minutes after son scored a goal in a football match.

Mark Wildsmith, aged 45, had been watching his 15-year-old son Liam play for Hoyland Town Magpies in a game against Treeton Terriers.

His best friend Mark Haran, who manages Liam’s team, battled in vain to revive him but he died later in hospital.

Heartbroken Liam said: “I’ll miss my dad. He wasn’t one of those parents you hear about going mad on the football field. He would speak to me mainly - giving me tips, telling me what to look out for. He was like my personal coach on the field.”

Mark’s wife Diane, 45, said: “When he went down, everything froze - time stood still.

“The only silver lining was all his family were at the game, a lot of his friends were there, his son was there - who he was so proud of for scoring, he always was - and we all held his hands and stayed with him until the end.”

James Billson, manager of the Treeton Terriers team, has contacted Hoyland to suggest a memorial charity game.

He said: “We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family and the club. This has touched everyone involved in junior football.”

 

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