Rugby clubs must be given defibrillators to give players a “fighting chance”, the club mates of a father who died after a cardiac arrest have said.
Supporters tried to save Alex Evans who collapsed after playing for Cwmllynfell RFC in South Wales on Saturday.
The 31-year-old flanker left the field of play at the club’s home ground in Neath Port Talbot after feeling unwell on and collapsed moments later.
Medical staff, who happened to be watching the game, and paramedics tried to help save him with a defibrillator, but he died after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Cwmllynfell RFC club secretary Gareth Evans urged sporting authorities to give clubs defibrillators to help save lives.
Mr Evans said: “We used ours [defibrillator] on Saturday and sadly it still wasn’t enough, but if every club has got one, if they need to use it, it gives people a fighting chance to survive.”
He leaves his partner and a young daughter.
The survival rate for cardiac arrests outside hospital is below one in 10.
Denmark footballer Christian Eriksen was one of the lucky ones when he was revived after collapsing during at match at this summer’s European Championships.
In a social media post, Cwmllynfell RFC said: “We have lost a brother on the field and it is hurting so much.”
Messages of sympathy have been posted from numerous clubs, as well as the Welsh Rugby Union and World Rugby.
Mr Evans added: “Alex is a village boy, he’s Cwmllynfell through and through.
“I’ll remember him – we’ll all remember him – with the smile that he had.
“He always had a smile on his face, whatever he was doing, whether he was working, playing rugby, training, even having a pint with him.
“He always had time for you and always had that smile on his face.
“He would do anything for anybody…if he could help you, he would. He wore his heart on his sleeve on the field and exactly the same off the field as well.”
A fundraising page set up since has already topped £7,000, and Mr Evans said the club had been “overwhelmed” by the kindness and support.