Northern Ireland

Kevin McCloy collapses during GAA match at Owenbeg

Kevin McCloy Image copyright Lorcan Doherty
Image caption Kevin McCloy (left), was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry after collapsing on the pitch during a club match on Wednesday evening

A former Derry Gaelic football captain is being treated in hospital after he collapsed on the pitch during a club match in County Londonderry.

Kevin McCloy, 35, was playing for Lavey Gaelic Athletic Club (GAC) in their match against Magherafelt at Owenbeg when he fell ill on Wednesday night.

Paramedics and an ambulance on site treated McCloy on the pitch around ten minutes into the game.

A further ambulance was called and took him to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.

A spokesperson for the hospital said the footballer is currently being treated in intensive care.

In a statement, McCloy's family said he was in a "stable" condition and is currently undergoing assessment.

It added: "Kevin's wife and family are very grateful to those who are caring for Kevin and to all who have offered good wishes and prayers for Kevin."

'Gentleman'

Speaking on BBC Radio Foyle on Thursday, Derry GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) chairperson John Keenan said a defibrillator had been used on McCloy after he collapsed.

"Ten minutes into the game, Kevin kicked the ball and fell to the ground, and almost immediately it became apparent something very serious had gone wrong," he said.

Image copyright ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Image caption Lavey GAA issued a statement asking people to keep the footballer in their thoughts

"We have three defibrillators on site, thankfully they're not used that often albeit they're there if necessary, and it helped to save Kevin's life.

Mr Keenan described the footballer as "an absolute gentleman" and said his thoughts were with him and his family.

He said: "It has come as an awful shock, in the game of sport this is happening a lot. Kevin is an ambassador for his club, and an ambassador for his community."

Lavey GAA also issued a statement asking people to keep the player in their thoughts.

It said: "On behalf of the club officers, management, players and supporters of Lavey GAA, we would like to express our best wishes to our senior football club captain, Kevin McCloy, his wife and family.

"They are all in our thoughts and prayers at this time."