Player who scored in first final at new Wembley Mitchell Cole dies

 

A 27-year-old footballer who scored one of the goals in the first final to be held at the new Wembley Stadium has died, the Football League has said.

Mitchell Cole had been forced to retire as a professional player in February last year owing to a heart attack.

Writing on its official Twitter feed, the League said: "We are sad to hear former Southend, Stevenage and Oxford player Mitchell Cole has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."

Cole, who was married to the sister of England international Joe Cole, scored for Stevenage against Kidderminster at Wembley in the 2007 FA Trophy Final. He said last year he would be risking death if he were to play again.

In an interview with The Sun he said: "A few players around the world die of this every year. The specialists told me that every day I have a 1 per cent chance of dropping dead and sport quadruples that risk.

"When he gave me the numbers and showed me images of my heart, it hit me hard."

Despite retiring from the professional game last year, Cole did make a handful of non-league appearances, some of which came for Arlesey Town.

However, according to their director of football, Gary King, watching Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffer a cardiac arrest in an FA Cup tie with Tottenham in March convinced Cole to give up the game for good.

King told Press Association Sport: "We were watching that game in the clubhouse and he turned to me and said 'I'm not playing again', although I'm told he might have been playing five-a-side in London last night."

The PFA joined the Football League in expressing their condolences, tweeting: "The PFA is deeply saddened by the loss of 27-year-old Mitchell Cole, our thoughts are with his friends and family."

Cole had tweeted last night about playing football.

On mitchcole21 he wrote: "London tonight for the usual kick about with the lads!"

Cole suffered from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which is an irregular thickness of the heart in certain areas.

After being released by West Ham he went on to carve out a career in the lower leagues after establishing himself at Stevenage.

Cole scored the opening goal in the 2007 FA Trophy final as Stevenage won 3-2 and also helped the club secure promotion to the Football League in 2010.

He moved to Oxford where he quit as a professional last year before returning to the non-League game.

Cole's former clubs were among the first to pay tribute, with West Ham posting on their official Twitter feed: "Everyone at West Ham United has been saddened to learn of the death of former Hammers Academy player Mitchell Cole at the age of 27. RIP."

Stevenage added on their official account: "The club are saddened to hear of the passing of former player Mitchell Cole. Our thoughts are with his family at this time."

Southend United said they were "extremely saddened" to hear the news, while Oxford United tweeted: "Our thoughts are with the family of Mitchell Cole."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits