Queensland rugby league player dies



A Queensland Cup rugby league player has died after he was injured in a game in Brisbane over the weekend.

Sunshine Coast Falcons forward James Ackerman, 25, did not regain consciousness after being tackled at Bishop Park at Nundah in Brisbane’s north on Saturday.

Man dies after rugby tackle 
Club grieves for footy player

The incident happened just five minutes into the Falcons’ game against the Norths Devils.

A duty doctor and first aid staff treated him on the field for more than half an hour.

Realising it was serious, match officials called off the game.

The father of two was rushed to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital where he died on Monday.

The Ackerman family released a short statement through the QRL.

They thanked all those who treated Mr Ackerman.

“James loved the game of rugby league, he always played the game with his heart on his sleeve. We will miss you,” they said.

‘Heart and soul’ of the team

QRL managing director Robert Moore said the league fraternity was in shock and would now focus on continuing the necessary support and counselling for all concerned.

“We send our deepest condolences to James’s family and friends, and the Sunshine Coast club,” Mr Moore said.

“This is obviously a very difficult and traumatic time for a considerable amount of people – and we ask for the privacy of the family to be respected.

“Our immediate priority is to provide support for the family as well as the players, coaches and referees who were involved in this game.”

Sunshine Coast Falcons chief executive officer Chris Flannery said James was a “champion guy” and “one of our leaders”.

“He lived for rugby league,” Mr Flannery said.

“He was a tough competitor and a fine player who in many ways was the heart and soul of our team.

“James played for a number of seasons at Redcliffe but we were delighted to get him back this year as he was a Sunshine Coast boy who went to Mountain Creek High School.”

– with ABC

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