Rugby player, 27, dies after suffering cardiac arrest in match, as partner pleads for help to raise their 2-year-old son

15 October 2023, 18:24 | Updated: 15 October 2023, 19:05

Arturas Rudys died while playing rugby
Arturas Rudys died while playing rugby. Picture: GoFundMe

By Kit Heren

A rugby player has died after suffering a heart attack during a match.

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Arturas Rudys, 27, died in a game between his side, Wisbech, and Diss, in the Eastern Counties 1 league on Saturday.

Mr Rudys appears to have been involved in a tackle before suffering his heart attack. No head contact was involved between the two players.

Medically-trained players from the opposition leapt to Mr Rudys' aid, before emergency services arrived at the scene in Cambridgeshire. But Mr Rudys, a father to a young son, could not be revived.

His partner Jolita Kiseliovaite has launched a fundraiser to help her and their son Emilijus through the "very very hard time".

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She added: "I can't give up, I have to live and show the right path to... our child.

"I have never asked for money yet, but I want to reach out to you and ask for help…. Thank you all!"

Ms Kiseliovaite said the tragic events had happened "very quickly" as if "in a dream".

The fundraiser has garnered over £7,500 in donations as of 6pm on Sunday.

Mr Rudys' death has sparked an outpouring of grief among the rugby community. Flowers have been left outside his club in condolence.

David Dobson, the Wisbech club secretary, said "The club is deeply saddened by the events of yesterday.

"We are grateful for the support of the local community and the wider rugby community and also for the expertise of the emergency services who came to help."

The Rugby Football Union said: "On behalf of everyone at the RFU, we extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Arturas Rudys who tragically died yesterday.

"The thoughts of everyone in the game are with @wisbechrugby, their players, members and the wider rugby community."

The Eastern Counties 1 league is part of the ninth tier of English rugby.