A 28-YEAR-OLD Murwillumbah Mustangs Rugby League player Grant Cook has died in Gold Coast University Hospital overnight (September 11) after receiving a head injury during a semi final match on Sunday.
The young father’s family was by his side at hospital after he went into cardiac arrest during the A Grade game against Casino last night.
The man is believed to have gone into cardiac arrest and lost consciousness at around 3.30pm. Emergency services were called to the Nullum Street fields in Murwillumbah where paramedics worked on the man for about half an hour.
He was then transported to the Gold Coast University Hospital where he sadly lost his life.
Police were preparing a report for the information of the Coroner after the death.
Police have been informed that the man collapsed shortly after being tackled during the match. Officials at the ground attempted to resuscitate the man until the arrival of Ambulance Paramedics.
The man was airlifted to Gold Coast University Hospital in a critical condition but sadly passed away overnight.
Police from Tweed/Byron Local Area Command will prepare a report for the Coroner outlining all the circumstances leading up to the man’s death.
Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League president Brian Rix told the media that it was a shocking tragedy.
“We’ve spoken with the Mustangs. Of course they’re all distressed, the players that were around there,” he said.
“Country Rugby League is organising some counselling this morning for the players that might require it, and we’re talking with the Casino club as well just to make sure that they’re all okay.”
The NRRRL was expected to release a statement including the name of the players later today.
Mr Cook’s wife Colleen posted a lengthy and moving tribute on her Facebook page saying she was still trying to comprehend the shattering news that her husband was gone.
“My goodness. Where to start? And what’s the correct way to announce the passing of a husband, son, father, brother, uncle, cousin, teammate and friend so many of us loved,” she wrote, alongside a family photograph of the couple with their two young children.
“My beautiful husband Grant is now an angel watching over us. 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.”
Mrs Cook said she knew what the outcome would be soon after she arrived at the hospital on Sunday. She said she had slowly accepted that she “could not hold and kiss him forever and I had to at some point walk away from him and come home to look after our children”.
“Walking away down that hospital corridor was one of the hardest things I have ever done. And I’m surprised I made it out with how heavy my legs and heart and body felt,” she wrote.
“We loved him so much, and he loved us. And I guess this part is what hurts me the most. Him not growing old with me and watching our children hit each milestone.”
Despite her unimaginable grief, she also took the time to thank everyone who had offered her support and kept her family in their thoughts.
“So from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!,” she wrote.
“I am unsure how we all will get by. But day by day it will happen. And I guess I wanted to those words out there as I do feel immensely proud of Grant.
“He helped so many, he loved unconditionally, he forgave others and taught me to do the same. He actually taught me many things. And held me together in my darkest days.
“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.
“Rest in peace Grant Geoffrey Cook. You achieved so much at such a tender age of 28. God took another good one away from us. He must have his reasons. But it doesn’t lesson my grief.
“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.”
Mr Cook, who was originally from NSW, was the owner-operator at Tweed Growers Farm Fresh Produce, a fruit and vegetable business in Tweed Heads South.