Vigil for teen rugby star in coma after Murrayfield collapse

Murrayfield Stadium.

Picture by Stephen Mansfield
Murrayfield Stadium. Picture by Stephen Mansfield
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THE family of a young rugby star were holding a vigil at his hospital bedside last night after he collapsed on the pitch during a showcase final at Murrayfield.

Fans watched in horror as the 15-year-old crumpled to the ground while playing in the Scottish Schools’ Under-16 Cup final on Wednesday night.

Witnesses said it was unknown as to when he sustained what was thought to have been a traumatic head injury as he collapsed while walking.

He remained at the Western General while doctors assess if they need to operate.

His team, Stewart’s Melville College, had just scored early in the second half to tie with George Watson’s at 19-19 when he fell to the turf.

“He was just walking back to his position when he collapsed,” said a member of the crowd. “He was just wandering back – there was nothing going on but maybe it was caused earlier.”

Three doctors treated the forward for up to ten minutes on the pitch as concerned players and fans watched on.

He was stretchered off and taken to the Western by ambulance as shaken team-mates played on to lose the match 
64-19.

One supporter said: “I didn’t think it was serious at first but then I saw one doctor sprinting down the tunnel.”

Up to 4000 spectators, mostly schoolchildren, watched on from the stands at the free annual event also open to the general public.

Stewart’s Melville principal David Gray said: “He remains in hospital now and his parents are with him. Our thoughts are very much with them at the moment.

“We very much hope he will make a good recovery and we are concerned.”

Of the game itself, Mr Gray added: “There were lots of people there and it was a healthy sports atmosphere with support for both sides and some excellent rugby played.

“But as far as we’re concerned, The match was very much soured by this injury.

“We all want our children to play competitive, exciting sport but to maintain their own health which comes before everything.”

Mr Gray said team-mates and fellow students were being kept informed and he remains in contact with his parents.

“There’s concern about his condition and everybody hopes he will make a good recovery,” added Mr Gray.

NHS Lothian declined to comment but the youngster is understood to be in an induced coma as doctors assess whether surgery is necessary.

The Scottish Rugby Union declined to comment further “until a clearer outcome of the injury is known.”