The devastated family of a late teenage boy has revealed that the footballer had a ruptured spleen before his sudden death.
Footy’s Dallas Keogh-Frankling, 17, landed awkwardly on a tackle before collapsing in the dressing rooms after an away game against Kyneton Tigers in the under-18s Bendigo League last Saturday.
The revelation came after his heartbroken father Mark Frankling said he can’t believe he won’t be driving his son to his games anymore.
Mr Frankling said his son was tackled by two people on the boundary line towards the end of the last quarter.
His son immediately jumped to his feet, but grabbed his belly before taking the time to sit on the couch.
But in the dressing rooms after the match, his eyes “rolled in the back of his head” and his face turned “gray.”
The tragic death of promising football player Dallas Keogh-Frankling (pictured), 17, last Saturday was due to a ruptured spleen, his family said
His heartbroken father, Mark Frankling, has described how his son’s eyes rolled into the back of his head and his face turned “gray” after the game
He was rushed to Kyneton Hospital in an ambulance where paramedics attempted to resuscitate him.
“They worked again to get him back. I held his hand and it felt cold. After an hour and a half they couldn’t bring him back,” Mr. Frankling told the Announce sun.
He said he was “such a proud father” and that his son “loved his footy,” getting up before dawn to play some mornings.
“It’s still hard to fathom that I won’t drive him to footy and have him tell me what he’s going to do today.
“He was just a great kid. There was never a bad word about him. He had great people around him, calm and polite.’
The teen’s father said he only wanted “good things” out of the tragedy.
He said Dallas would still like his teammates to play footy, adding “that’s life, things can happen, accidents can happen.”
The father said he didn’t want this to happen to anyone else.
The boy’s grandmother, Margaret Keogh, said the teenager had told her the day before that he was feeling unwell leading up to the game.
“He said, ‘I’ve had a bit of the flu, but I’m feeling better now and I’ll play tomorrow,'” she said 7News.
“We’re going to miss Dallas like you wouldn’t believe it.”
Meanwhile, the coroner is investigating other factors that may have contributed to the boy’s death.
Victorian Prime Minister Dan Andrews has said: ‘On behalf of all Victorians I would like to express my deepest sympathy.
“And people need to be assured that there will be a full investigation so we can try to understand what happened here.”
Tributes were paid by the Castlemaine community and footy fans further afield.
“Incredibly saddening and devastating,” said Matthew Evans, Greater Bendigo Councilor.
My sincere condolences and prayers to the family and the entire Castlemaine FNC. Also thought of the Kyneton FNC.’
The youngster, remembered online by friends as ‘such a nice lad’, was playing for Castlemaine against Kyneton in Kyneton (pictured) in the Bendigo League when the tragedy happened
The Castlemaine club held a community gathering to remember Dallas on Sunday afternoon
The coroner is investigating other factors that may have contributed to the boy’s death
The North Geelong Victorian Club said: ‘From one community club to another, our thoughts are with your club and the wider community at this tragic time.’
One woman wrote: ‘Hard to believe something like this could happen in youth football. My heart goes out to everyone. My son also plays for U18 and I can’t even imagine how difficult this would be.’
A spokesman for Victoria Police said: ‘Emergency services were called to reports of an unresponsive boy at a football pitch in Mollison Street, Kyneton, at around 12.20pm.’
“A 17-year-old boy from Castlemaine was taken to hospital where he later died.”
They are not treating the death as suspicious.
The Castlemaine club held a community gathering to memorialize Dallas on Sunday afternoon in Camp Reserve’s social areas.