Footballer, 37 collapsed and died on the pitch in front of his girlfriend and five-month-old daughter
A 37-year-old footballer collapsed and died on the pitch – just days after posing for this adorable picture with his five-month-old daughter.
Mike Rodman, 37, collapsed ten minutes into the game on Saturday as his girlfriend looked on in horror with tot Eva.
Despite extensive CPR Mike, who was player-manager of Bristol-based Kingswood AFC reserves, died shortly afterwards.
Club chairman Rob Bateman, who watched the tragedy unfold, said: “I saw him just fall to the floor face first, there wasn’t another player near him.
“We all rushed onto the pitch. It was such an awful thing to witness – really, really horrible.
“Someone started CPR on him straight away, and the ambulance turned up about 15 minutes afterwards and took over.
“They were working for 50 minutes. Everyone in the teams knew everyone else because it was a local derby, Charfield are our great rivals.
“There was no response. It was dreadful. It is a terrible loss. Mike has given ten years’ unbroken service to the club and has helped us drive into the great success we have had over the past decade.
“When we got into the Gloucestershire County League we won a cup final in our first year, and Mike scored a 35-yarder. His death is a total shock.
“We can’t understand it. Everyone is totally traumatised and all of our thoughts are with his family.”
Mike, from Wootton-under-Edge, was being watched by girlfriend Lauren and the couple’s five-month-old daughter.
The central defender – known as Raj – worked as a logistics manager with Renshaw in the town.
Clubs and players across Gloucestershire paid tribute to Mike on Twitter over the weekend with floral tributes laid at the club’s ground alongside his number six shirt.
Scott Harvey said: “This tragedy has touched everyone who knew Raj and has left family, friends, a community and local football totally devastated.”
Ross Stearn called him an “absolute legend”.
Great Western Ambulance received the call at 2.07pm and scrambled a rapid response unit and fire co-responders (firefighters trained in CPR) as well as a critical care team.
A spokesman said: “CPR was given by a bystander before our arrival, so he was given the best possible chance, and we took over on arrival.
“Unfortunately we were unable to revive him and it was a sad ending.”