Football death was second in family

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A footballer who died suddenly in the middle of a game suffered exactly the same fate as his father almost 30 years ago.

Team-mates thought Kelvin Brown (pictured) had tripped over while playing for Bromley-by-Bow FC on Hackney Marshes, but players and spectators – including his younger brother – soon realised he had suffered a fatal heart attack.

Brown died suddenly in a tragic echo of his father's death. Photo: Naz Hussain

Last night a close friend of the 27-year-old revealed Mr Brown’s death was an exact repeat of the way his father died.

Naz Hussain, the club’s Vice-President, said: “Kelvin’s father passed away at 27 playing in a football match in Hackney too.”

“For a mum to experience the loss of both her son and husband during a football game in identical circumstances is an incredible coincidence. For her it’s déjà vu – it’s happened again and she’s distraught.”

Mr Brown’s father died playing for Hackney side Newmount when his son was just a child.

Bromley-by-Bow had to cancel two games because of their friend’s death on 19 February, and Mr Hussain said a number of players were still “too traumatised” to play again.

He said: “If you hear about a friend’s death you’re obviously sad, but if you witness it, it hits you even harder and leaves you traumatised.”

“The team has taken it really badly. Last Sunday was our first game back and there were still a few guys who felt they couldn’t kick a ball.

“Despite all that, we won a crucial game taking us to within a point of the league leaders.”

Last weekend players across the Inner London Football League wore black armbands and observed a minute’s silence in honour of Mr Brown, while his team-mates dedicated Sunday’s 2-0 win to him.

Mr Brown (back, second from left) with his Bromley-by-Bow team mates. Photo: Naz Hussain

A number of referees contacted the club to pay their respects to Mr Brown, a midfielder who was never booked in his footballing career.

Referees and players from rival teams called in to say “they never had any issues with him, he always behaved exceptionally and what a genuinely great guy he was. He was never confrontational and always had a smile on his face.”

Mr Hussain added: “We have always been potential favourites in any tournament we play in and that was partly down to Kelvin.

“He was a great footballer, with a great temperament, skills, vision and the ability to pick out a pass. He never gave up and gave his all until the final whistle.”

The club will hold an annual tournament to raise money for Kelvin’s family and fund community work. A memorial match will be held on 28 April.

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