Cause of footballer’s collapse unknown

Gerome Graham main
A 20-year-old footballer inexplicably collapsed Tuesday night during practice in Bodden Town and later died.

Gerome Graham, a long-time Bodden Town Football Club team member and a one-time member of the Cayman Islands national team, was taken to hospital by ambulance and has since been pronounced dead, according to Sports and Health Minister Mark Scotland.

Gerome’s coach, Elbert McLean, confirmed his death Wednesday morning. Mr. McLean said the team wasn’t actually having an official practice Tuesday night, just “a little kick around” at the Haig Bodden Football Field.

“We won’t know what happened until a postmortem is conducted,” Mr. McLean said, indicating he expected that procedure to be completed sometime on Wednesday, although a report on it might not be issued until next week.

The coach declined to say anything further Wednesday: “Today’s just not a good day”.

Minister Scotland, who is also the Bodden Town Football Club president, said he was stunned by Gerome’s sudden passing.

“I’ve known Gerome since he was a little boy,” said Mr. Scotland, who has been involved with the Bodden Town Football Club for the last 25 years. “He’s never had any health problems, that I know of.”

Mr. Scotland said he had been contact with Mr. Graham’s family and had passed along his condolences. The health minister said he had received no reports as to why the youngster had suddenly collapsed on the pitch, which is next to the Bodden Town Police Station.

“I know Gerome extremely well, and he’s one of the fittest members of the Bodden Town team,” Mr. Scotland said of the midfielder.

Stephen Duval, emergency medical services director at the Health Services Authority, said he had received reports from staff that Gerome was playing football and “just went unconscious and suddenly collapsed” around 7.40pm Tuesday.


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Gerome Graham during a football match in February 2012. Photo: Ron Shllingford