The Tragically Young Death XI


29th, August 2007


Following the tragic death of Antonio Puerta yesterday, Pies celebrates the James Deans of the football world who died too young.
Aaron Flahavan
The Portsmouth keeper died after crashing his BMW in 2001 aged 25. His blood alcohol level was three times over the legal limit. His brother Darryl plays for Southend.
Niccolo Galli
The Arsenal youngster died in a motorcycle accident while on loan to Bologna in 2001. The 17-year-old was back in Italy to complete his studies, but Arsene Wenger claimed he was a certainty to make the Gunners’ first team.
Andres Escobar
The Colombian defender was shot dead in 1994 after returning from the World Cup. His shooting was rumoured to have been ordered by a betting syndicate after Escobar’s own goal led to Colombia’s unexpected first-round exit.
The Brazilian defender Рnot the AC Milan player Рdied in 2004 after suffering a heart attack while playing for Ṣo Caetano against Ṣo Paulo.

Duncan Edwards
England and Manchester United’s prodigy died from the injuries he sustained in the Munich Air Disaster in 1958. He was only 21 and was tipped by those who saw him play to have become one of football’s greats.
Antonio Puerta
Died yesterday after suffering a heart attack and collapsing during Sevilla’s game against Getafe on Saturday. The Spain international was 22 years old and his girlfriend was eight months pregnant with his child.
Marc-Vivien Foe
The Cameroon international died in 2003 after collapsing during a Confederations Cup semi-final against Colombia. The 28-year-old was on-loan at Manchester City at the time of his death.
Jimmy Davis
Manchester United trainee and former England youth international Davis was killed in a car accident hours before the start of the 2003-04 season. He was on-loan at Watford when he crashed his BMW on the M40 in Oxfordshire.
Laurie Cunningham
Cunningham, the first black player to represent England in a competitive match, died in 1989 in a car crash in Madrid. The 33-year-old was in Spain playing for Rayo Vallecano.
John White
The Spurs star died in 1964 at the age of 27 after being hit by lightning while playing golf.
Ray Jones
The 18-year-old QPR and England under 19 striker died at the weekend when the vehicle he was travelling in collided with a bus.
Photo Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

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  1. John says:

    In poor taste lads.

  2. Rob P says:

    Sorry you feel that way, John. Certainly not intended in poor taste – just a tribute to the footballers we lost too soon.

  3. jorge says:

    you missed one of the biggest shocks i got while watching live football: Miklos Féher (, playing for Benfica against Guimarães in 2004, collapsed in the field and died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
    if you’re counting car crashes, then don’t forget FC Porto player Rui Filipe in 1994 in an automobile accident when leaving a nightclub…

  4. Boris says:

    Don’t forget Martin Aldridge. Former Oxford United, Northampton, and Blackpool striker who was killed in a car crash while on loan to Rushden & Diamonds. He crashed just a few hundred yards from Nene Park, after a training session. I always remember his as a super-sub, coming off the bench at the Manor to score devastating last-minute winners as United soared to promotion in 95/96.

  5. Dan says:

    My first instinct was that the idea of this feature was poor taste, but the content itself isn’t mocking or anything.
    Maybe it would have been better to just put ‘Here’s our tribute to other footballers who died too young’ ? – rather than present it as an ‘XI’ which almost seems to cheapen the issue. I don’t think it would have been anything to worry about if you weren’t such a popular blog.

  6. Roux says:

    The Zambian guy Msofia who died in Israel while training with his club last this week.He was probably 22 years old.

  7. jill says:

    I find it amazing that anybody found it ‘in poor taste’ remembering some of the talented young men who tragically lost their lives. Instead of knocking the article spare a thought for the families and friends.

  8. jill says:

    I find it amazing that anybody finds it ‘poor taste’ remembering all those young men who tragically lost their lives. So instead of knocking the article spare a thought for them and their families.