Stroke brought on by heading footballs caused 'talented' young striker to collapse and die

Bryan Herbert collapsed just hours after playing for his Lancashire-based football club Bacup Borough

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The Independent Online

A ‘talented’ young footballer has died of a stroke that is believed to have been triggered by heading footballs.

Bryan Herbert collapsed just hours after playing for his Lancashire-based football club Bacup Borough and died in hospital eight weeks later.

An inquest into his death found a blood clot on the brain believed to have been caused by continually heading footballs. This blood clot eventually led to the 27-year-old suffering a fatal stroke.

Coroner Michael Singelton heard how Mr Herbert regularly complained of headaches to his girlfriend Vicky Bruty, but felt particularly unwell in the hours before he collapsed in August 2012.

Earlier that morning he had apparently expressed concern about potentially feeling unwell on an aeroplane flight to Greece that he and his girlfriend were due to take a few hours later.

As the morning wore on, Mr Herbert’s headache began to intensify and he started struggling to move.

At this point Ms Bruty called an ambulance for her distressed boyfriend but he collapsed and suffered a seizure before it arrived.

Mr Herbert was rushed to the nearby hospital but died a few months later with his parents and Ms Bruty at his bedside.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Ms Bruty said: “Bryan lived for his football and now it looks like he died for his football.”

She reportedly added: “Obviously Brian's death has turned my life upside down…we were planning on starting our life together and starting a family.”

Coroner Michael Singelton said: “It is unbelievable that somebody who was so fit and healthy and an active sportsman that something could happen that is so catastrophic.”

He added “It is almost unbelievable and one of the things that my job tells me is that you can take nothing for granted in life. You don't know what is around the corner and everyday is precious.”

He went on: “As a parent myself I can't begin to imagine the trauma you and the family have had, seeing Bryan this very fit, active young man reduced to this, in circumstances where doctors are unable to do anything.”