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Grant Cook dies after collapse following tackle in rugby league match in Murwillumbah

ABC News ABC News 12/09/2016
Grant Cook with wife Coleen Cook. © Facebook/Grant Cook Grant Cook with wife Coleen Cook.

A Gold Coast man has died in hospital after he collapsed during a rugby league game in northern New South Wales.

Grant Cook, from Coolangatta, was playing at home for the Murwillumbah Mustangs in a preliminary final against Casino Cougars on Sunday afternoon when he collapsed after being tackled just before half-time.

The 28-year-old father of two was flown to Gold Coast University Hospital in a critical condition. He died overnight.

Mr Cook's wife Colleen has paid tribute to her husband on Facebook.

"My beautiful husband Grant is now an angel watching over us," she said.

"Life can be so cruel. He has left a huge hole in my heart and I know all family, especially his parents, are hurting trying to understand this tragedy.

Ms Cook said her husband helped many in his life and loved unconditionally.

"He actually taught me many things. And held me together in my darkest days," she said.

Grant Cook © Facebook/Mullumbimby Giants Rugby League Grant Cook "He had the most beautiful blue eyes which both our children were blessed genetically with so that's comforting I will see him in our children daily.

"My worries would always disappear with his presence, his beautiful smile and his kind words on how it will all be OK."

She said he achieved much in his life.

"God took another good one away from us. He must have his reasons. But it doesn't lessen my grief," she said.

"You died doing something you loved so passionately, and I guess that's how I have to look at it. You finally got to wear that number 6 jersey before the season was out too.

"I always did say I would love you forever and a day. And you know I will."

Counselling arranged for players

Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) and Country Rugby League representatives will meet today to determine if there will be a rematch of the preliminary final between Murwillumbah and Casino.

NRRRL president Brian Rix said Mr Cook required CPR on the side of the field after going "into some sort of fit or convulsion".

"They had to do CPR on him, he did stop breathing for a while and they revived him, then the ambulance turned up," he said.

"Just before half-time he actually came from the field, they continued to play because there was only a bit over a minute left in the half and there was no indication it was anything major on the sideline at that stage.

"When the half-time break came, we knew then it was quite serious. He must've copped a knock or something, we have no idea.

"He had to leave the field because he didn't feel great, he sat on the bench before he started to feel even worse."

Mr Rix said Mr Cook was originally from Mullumbimby but has been at Murwillumbah for a couple of years.

"We've spoken with the Mustangs, of course the players are distressed and we're organising some counselling this morning for the players that might require it," Mr Rix said.

"We're talking with the Casino players as well to make sure they're all OK.

"It's an unfortunate tragedy that's happened, we need to respect the family and keep in contact with them so we can assist wherever we need to."


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