New details have emerged after the tragic death of 20-year-old Manly Sea Eagles player Keith Titmuss.
Titmuss, a promising forward who was part of Manly’s first grade squad, died on Monday afternoon following a training session.
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The young star fell ill while stretching after the training session at the club’s Narrabeen base and later died at Royal North Shore hospital.
His cause of death remains unknown, however rugby league reporter Adam Pengilly provided some new details on Tuesday.
“He finished the session fine. They started doing some stretches afterwards and he started complaining of some pretty severe cramps,” Pengilly told Sky Sports Radio.
“And then shortly after he collapsed. They had an ambulance come to Narrabeen quickly after that.
“This is the strange thing for me, after he left Narrabeen he sort of regained consciousness and he was lucid to some extent.
“And unfortunately the situation deteriorated quite rapidly once he got to hospital. And it’s just a tragic, tragic story.
“Basically no one knows what the cause of this is.
“I spoke to a couple of people yesterday and basically Manly were doing a none contact conditioning session yesterday, a fitness session that lasted about 90 minutes to two hours.
“A lot more will come to light in coming days and coming months.”
Channel Nine’s Danny Weidler reported on Monday night that Titmuss had complained of “body cramps”.
“I don’t know exactly what happened, nobody does at the moment,” he told The Big Sports Breakfast on Tuesday.
“But going forward it’s difficult for everyone to handle and it’s difficult for the team environment, but more importantly for the family.”
Keith Titmuss’ death shocks rugby league
Titmuss’ death has shocked the NRL, with Manly players called into a meeting on Monday afternoon to be told of the tragic news.
The 20-year-old had been a rising star at the club, having delivered them their maiden Holden Cup title in 2017 with a try on the siren to beat Parramatta.
The play was the last in the 10-year history of the competition, with the footage of him flying over the tryline set to be repeated regularly in coming days.
The front-rower claimed the players’ player award in Jersey Flegg Cup in 2019, and had only just been promoted to their top-30 NRL squad for next season.
“We are all devastated by this news,” Manly coach Des Hasler said.
“Keith was a very popular character amongst the playing group. He will be sorely missed but never forgotten by the Sea Eagles.”
MORE: So sad. He was a genuine rising star of the game. Experienced what has been described to me by club officials as a “body cramp” whilst stretching after session. Doctor treated him at training and taken by ambulance to hospital. Thoughts are with his family.
— Danny Weidler (@Danny_Weidler) November 23, 2020
Losing kids in the prime of their lives is so hard to fathom! Thoughts with the family & friends of Keith Titmuss and the @SeaEagles . Fly high young man! 🦅
— Lote Tuqiri 🇫🇯🇦🇺 (@LoteTuqiri) November 23, 2020
Goodness, just terrible 😞 The heartbreak this family must be feeling right now.
Sea Eagles, NRL mourn the death of Keith Titmuss after a training session today: https://t.co/hziaHFCMqq pic.twitter.com/sYxmWQJ3BT
— Fatima Kdouh (@FatimaKdouh_) November 23, 2020
The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles family is extremely saddened to learn of the sudden passing of player Keith Titmuss today
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friendshttps://t.co/CB2NXwa7xI#ManlyForever pic.twitter.com/6he7fOatmn
— Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (@SeaEagles) November 23, 2020
He didn’t say a lot. He spoke with a smile a lot of the time. He was one of those kids where whatever he was asked to do, he would do it. He was just a really good young man.” Wayne Lambkin on Keith Titmuss, whose death has rocked the club https://t.co/L4o06p8cEH
— Brent Read (@brentread_7) November 23, 2020
Titmuss had been among the first to return to the club’s pre-season training last Thursday.
He was taken by ambulance to Northern Beaches Hospital, before he was transferred to Royal North Shore.
Both Hasler and chief executive Stephen Humphreys visited Royal North Shore Hospital on Monday night.
“Our club sends its deepest condolences to Keith's family and friends and will provide them with all of the support they need during this difficult period,” Humphreys said.
“We are working with the NRL's wellbeing team to offer support and counselling to our playing group and staff.”
Manly have cancelled training for Tuesday, and are taking on the help of the NRL to best handle the situation.