Leeds-born Gabby Logan pens emotive message about death of her brother Daniel in wake of Christian Eriksen's collapse
Leeds-born presenter Gabby Logan has penned an emotional message about her brother Daniel, who died aged 15, following the collapse of Christian Eriksen during a Euro 2020 match.
The Denmark midfielder collapsed on the pitch at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. In a message later posted from his hospital bed, he said he was "fine - under the circumstances", as doctors work to establish the cause of his cardiac arrest.
The presenter said it was the messages she saw on social media claiming that 'football doesn't matter' which led to her sharing her story, after finding solace in the game following the death of her brother.
Her brother Daniel was a promising footballer who had just signed a professional contract with Leeds United when he collapsed and died while playing football in the garden with their father, former Whites player Terry Yorath.
His death was caused by an undetected heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The 48-year-old BBC presenter wrote: "He was fit, strong, handsome and healthy, or so we thought. But we didn't have a defibrillator at home nor a team of medics to work on his heart and about an hour later in hospital he was pronounced dead. He had a hidden congenital heart disease. Football was his life and love and passion and he was buried a week later in his favourite outfit of all, the Wales football kit.
"Sometimes in the truly dreadful grief saturated months after he died I would wonder, what if we'd known that his heart was this ticking time bomb waIting to kill him? And if he'd had emergency surgery or been given the medication to keep him alive, but the pay off meantihe could never play again would he have been happy with us? Happy to live a life without his passion before he'd had a chance to live his dreams."
Her family campaigned to get elite athletes screened when they are teenagers and for more fibrillation in places at training grounds and gyms, but said they never claimed that 'football didn't matter'.
She went on: "The football community including his club Leeds United were incredible and without football we could not have truly said 'wow that fifteen year old kid of ours, he knew who he was, he knew what he wanted'.
"We lost a very precious beautiful young person too soon, but football was the vessel through which he had chosen to express himself. We knew more about him and his character at fifteen than many men of 40. His death made me want to move closer to football not further away. Why would I discard the thing which made my brother human, which made him alive?"
Her post came just day before the father of a young boy who died following sudden cardiac arrest stepped up his campaign for defibrillators to be installed in schools across the UK after one was used to save the life of Eriksen.
Mark King, founder of the Oliver King Foundation, has written a public letter to the Prime Minister, highlighting how the footballer was saved due to the availability of a defibrillator at the Denmark v Finland match on Saturday.
In his letter to Boris Johnson, Mr King, said: "The world was shocked by the distressing scenes of Christian Eriksen collapsing on the pitch during the Denmark v Finland match on Saturday. Fortunately, the swift action of his teammates, world-class medical staff and, critically, the availability of a defibrillator saved his life.
"Christian Eriksen, who is now stable in hospital, was lucky. My son was not."
His son Oliver, 12, died of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) on March 2, 2011 after suffering cardiac arrest while taking part in a swimming race at King David High School in Liverpool.