Sport

Magpies player dies after tragic tackle in Ballina match

TRAGEDY: Inspector Bill McKenna talks to friends, family and fellow players at Ballina Hospital following the death of Lower Clarence league stalwart Zane Purcell yesterday afternoon.
TRAGEDY: Inspector Bill McKenna talks to friends, family and fellow players at Ballina Hospital following the death of Lower Clarence league stalwart Zane Purcell yesterday afternoon. The Northern Star

A 29-YEAR-OLD man has died after being stretchered from the Kingsford Smith Park in Ballina after he collapsed during a reserve grade Rugby League game.

Lower Clarence Magpies player Zane Purcell passed away after going down from a knock to the head during a tackle early in the reserve-grade match against Ballina Seagulls yesterday afternoon.

MORE: President speaks out about Zane Purcell's tragic death

Witnesses have stated that following the head knock Purcell remained motionless on the field while he was attended to by the Ballina Seagulls club doctor and a Seagulls reserve grade player who was an off-duty paramedic. 

Local paramedics arrived on scene soon after to rush the player to the nearby Ballina Hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

New South Wales police have said a report will be prepared for the coroner following the death of Mr Purcell. 

In a statement released on the incident NSW Country Rugby League have sent their condolences to people close to the rugby league player. 

"Country Rugby League send their condolences to the family and friends of 29-year-old Zane Purcell who tragically passed away while playing for The Lower Clarence Reserve Grade Rugby League Club on Sunday afternoon," a CRL spokesman said. 

"Country Rugby League is providing counselling to the family and both teams who participated in yesterday's match."

The long-time player with Lower Clarence Magpies based in Maclean, was not revived before he was taken from the field. 

The remainder of the reserve grade game and the first grade game were cancelled as a sign of respect. The players from both teams were understood to be to upset to continue the games. 

Topics:  lower clarence magpies rugby league