Harrowing new details emerge after tragic death of NRL prodigy

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Keith Titmuss, pictured here after the 2017 Holden Cup grand final.
Keith Titmuss died after a training session with Manly. Image: Instagram

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, pictured here after winning the 2017 Holden Cup premiership with Manly.
Keith Titmuss was part of the Sea Eagles side that won the 2017 Holden Cup premiership. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

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.”

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.

with AAP