Sunday, October 19, 2008

Footballer Fred Lemson dies, but game goes on

By Peter Michael

The family of a father-of-four who collapsed and died at a rugby league carnival is outraged that play was allowed to go on despite the tragedy.

Front-row forward Fred Lemson, 40, collapsed of a massive heart attack as he walked off at half-time during the Queensland Rugby League-sanctioned All Blacks Carnival in Townsville last Saturday.

"Why didn't they call it off?" his grieving brother Darren Lemson said yesterday.

"This was not a broken leg. Somebody died on that field. But they just didn't give a damn."

Organisers held a minute's silence before allowing play to go on.

The All Blacks Carnival is one of the biggest on the indigenous sporting calendar. It involves about 400 mostly indigenous players from 16 teams across north Australia.

The popular Townsville Correctional Services officer will be farewelled at a funeral on Monday.

His family has also raised questions about the standard of insurance and medical treatment available to the tournament, as well as the ambulance response time. Some have claimed it took half an hour before an ambulance was called. By then it was too late.

"It's freaky for me. It looks like someone tried to take the cheap way out and hope nothing would go wrong," Mr Lemson said.

QRL managing director Ross Livermore said the key requirement was to have Australian Rugby League-qualified first aid officers at the ground. "It's tragic and you've got to feel grief for the family," he said.

He warned that players over a certain age are often not covered by most insurance policies.

Tournament director Jenny Pryor said the $1500-a-team nomination fee covered all players with death and disability insurance.

"I think people are grasping at straws at a time when we are all saddened by the death," she said.

Original here

1 comment:

aszaham said...

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