Tributes following sudden death of young footballer

Kevin King in action in 2014.

Kevin King in action in 2014.

Tributes have been paid following the sudden death of a young man while playing indoor football in the city.

Kevin King (22) from the Tamnaherin area passed away on Thursday night during the match in the Campsie area.

It is understood he was there with friends and had taken up position as goalkeeper when just minutes into the game he collapsed.

Kevin was a player with Slaughtmanus Gaelic Athletic Club and it is understand that around six months ago he stopped playing as a temporary measure due to a health issue.

Edward Deery, chairman of Slaughtmanus GAC, who knew Kevin since he was a young boy, said that everyone was devastated at the loss of such a well-thought of young man and such a talented player.

“He was a good character, nice, modest, well brought up sort of boy and everybody enjoyed spending time with him,” Mr Deery said. “He had a good personality and was a good fit.

“Kevin was an outstanding underage player and as a senior player as well, although he had the health issues. His playing career has been excellent, he was the sort of a boy who would have attended county training a few times, that’s the level he was at.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service confirmed it was called at 20.15 on Thursday following reports of an unconscious male in Campsie.

The spokesperson added: “One Rapid Response Vehicle, two A&E Ambulances attended the scene. The patient was subsequently transported to Altnagelvin Area Hospital.”

Friends of Kevin King posted messages of condolence and tributes via social media as news filtered through of the tragedy. One man said: “RIP to a true gent Kevin King. One of the most decent and unassuming but yet talented and driven individuals I’ve had the pleasure to play alongside. Thoughts with his family and everyone at Slaughtmanus GAA. Rest easy fella.”

Another posted: “Shocking news to hear, RIP KK heaven definitely gained one of the best. True gentle man with a massive talent. Big loss to the parish Kevin King x.”