Tragic rugby league player had heart failure

Adam Cooper
Adam Cooper

An amateur rugby league player who died at a match suffered from “acute cardiac failure”, his club has said.

Adam Cooper, 31, fell ill after being substituted for Culcheth Eagles in a match against Runcorn ARLFC on Saturday.

This could have happened at any time and is in no way related to the game he was playing in at the time of his sudden and unexpected passing

Culcheth Eagles

He was seen by a first aider and paramedics but could not be saved.

A statement released by Culcheth Eagles said: “The cause of Adam’s death has now been confirmed as acute cardiac failure.

“This could have happened at any time and is in no way related to the game he was playing in at the time of his sudden and unexpected passing.

“We would again like to thank everyone for their messages of support and sympathy and the donations to the JustGiving page.”

Many tributes have been paid to the dad-of-three, who spent several seasons playing for Leigh East ARLFC.

More than £11,000 has now been donated to an online appeal to support his family.

Adam’s relatives, friends and team mates gathered at Culcheth Eagles’ Shaw Street ground to pay tribute and raise a drink to him. Balloons in the club’s colours were released in his memory.

Culcheth Eagles will hold the first Adam “Carney” Cooper Festival on Sunday, which includes a host of junior rugby teams taking part in matches, as well as a bouncy castle, zorbing and barbecue.

Earlier this week, the Observer reported there had been many suggestions of ways to remember Adam and the club was looking to have some kind of lasting memorial.

It is not just locally that people have been paying tribute - messages of condolence and donations have been received from rugby league clubs around the world.

A minute’s silence was being held before every rugby league game across all competitions this week in memory of Adam.

Details of a funeral have not yet been announced.