As the rugby league community continues to try and come to terms with the tragic death of Keith Titmuss, questions still remain unanswered about the 20-year-old's sudden passing.
A rising star of the Manly Sea Eagles, Titmuss died on Monday after a fitness training session with the club in the morning.
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The young star complained of severe full body cramps while stretching, before he eventually collapsed after the training session at the club’s Narrabeen base.
He later died at Royal North Shore hospital.
While a cause for Titmuss' tragic death is still to be determined, it's now emerged that he passed all his medical tests before the club's pre-season training got underway.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the 20-year-old had no health issues that the Sea Eagles were aware of, with a coroner's report likely to shed more light on the devastating mystery.
Grief-stricken Manly players have been provided counselling over their teammates death, with planned training sessions cancelled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Sea Eagles players have been encouraged to take as much time off as they need to deal with their teammate's death.
“It’s a tragic event that has saddened everyone,” Manly chief executive Stephen Humphreys said.
“The family and the club have been overwhelmed with messages of condolence and support, and I know the family really appreciate that outpouring of support.
“We’re hoping the medical review that’s happening will provide some answers to the questions the family and the club have. We’ll do our best in the coming days to pay tribute to Keith and then manage the challenge of returning to training and preparing the team for the year ahead.”
The family of the young star have asked for their privacy to be respected after the heartbreaking news, with Titmuss' brother Jesse sharing an emotional tribute on social media.
Brother shares emotional tribute
Describing Keith as his "rock" and "best friend", Jesse says his brother's tragic death has left a hole in their family's lives.
“My rock, my best friend, you were always by my side through thick and thin. I miss you so much lil bro,” Jesse Titmuss wrote on Facebook.
“Keith passed on doing what he loved, living out his dream and there is no doubt about that. The hardest working individual I knew, with a mindset like no other. That never give up mentality took him to where he was. I was so proud to call Keith my lil bro and if anyone knows me, Keith was all I would talk about.
“Keith, a man of very few words was loved by many and had so many close friends who were all by his side. His friends and family were the most important and influential people in his life and every bit of advice he was given he would take it all in. His character and personality were unique and were the qualities towards such a loving, gentle giant.
“Keith was just upgraded to the Top 30 NRL squad for 2021 and was looking forward to what would have been his breakthrough season. We were just talking about it a couple of days ago about how well prepared he was physically and mentally for pre season. All of us as a family were optimistic that Keith was to make his NRL debut in 2021. Keith’s memories and legacy will live on forever.”
Jesse's heartbreaking tribute was accompanied by a video of some of his brother's rugby league highlights, as well as a promise to look after the family now that he's gone.
“We love you Keithy! You are so heavy on my heart right now and I will forever carry you by my side,” he added.
“I will take care of Mum, Dad and Zara for you bro, we are all hurting so much. Take care lil bro and rest easy.”
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.
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