Dad, 45, dies watching son play football

Mark Wildsmith, 45, with son Liam, 15. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Mark Wildsmith, 45, with son Liam, 15. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Have your say

A father suffered a fatal heart attack after celebrating as he watched his son score a crucial goal in a Sunday league game.

Mark Wildsmith, 45, had been cheering on 15-year-old son Liam following his late equaliser when he fell to the ground.

As his son and wife Diane watched on in horror, his best friend Mark Haran desperately performed CPR until paramedics arrived. He died later in hospital.

Mr Wildsmith, of Barnsley, had worked at Outokumpu Stainless Ltd since 2010.

His devastated son Liam told of the moment he watched his father collapse, saying: “It was an important game, we were fighting for our chance to go up to the second division.

“At the time we were down 2-1, then I scored the equaliser and my dad was really proud – you could see he was. But then I heard someone say ‘Liam, your dad’s ill’ and I saw him on the floor.

“At first I thought he must be being sick or something. But then I saw his best mate was trying to do CPR on him and I knew it was serious.”

Mr Wildsmith’s funeral will take place next Friday. The family are now making it their mission to raise funds for a defibrillator at Liam’s team’s ground, which is used by 10 other sides in the area.

Mrs Wildsmith said: “A lot of the pubs and clubs around here are going to have charity nights in memory of Mark so we can buy one of these machines – which could have saved Mark’s life if it had been there.”