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Last Updated: Friday, 27 June, 2003, 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK
Yorath health call after Foe death
Daniel Yorath
Daniel Yorath died of the condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Former Wales football manager Terry Yorath says the sudden death of soccer star Marc-Vivien Foe brought memories of the death of his teenage son Daniel flooding back.

Yorath also called for more stringent tests to be carried out on a regular basis at clubs to safeguard players' health.

He was watching Cameroon play Colombia on Thursday night when Foe crumpled onto the pitch.

The 28-year-old Premiership footballer regarded as one of the fittest players in the game was declared dead shortly afterwards.

For Yorath, it revived the dreadful memory of how in 1992 15-year-old Daniel collapsed as he was enjoying a kick-about with his father in the back garden of their home.

Daniel, who had just signed schoolboy forms with Yorath's former club Leeds United, died in his helpless father's arms from a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

If someone is a fit young man they don't think it can happen to them
Terry Yorath

"The way he collapsed was exactly the same way as Daniel collapsed," said Cardiff-born Yorath, who won 59 Welsh caps as a player and managed the national side for five years in the 1990s.

Terry Yorath
Terry Yorath says more must be done to prevent sudden tragedies

Yearly scans

"When players go back for pre-season they get their weight and their height checked and that is about it," he said.

"They don't have regular yearly scans and I think it should be looked at better."

Yorath, who has also managed both Cardiff City and Swansea City, said outward appearances counted for nothing and detailed testing was needed to trace problems which may not necessarily show up on a routine medical.

It was first thought Cameroon midfielder Foe had suffered a heart attack, but it now appears an aneurysm may have caused the collapse.

Cardiff-born Yorath, whose daughter Gaby Logan is an ITV football presenter, said: "He didn't move. I knew then it was serious.


"It brought it all flooding back. He is 28 and his family must be heartbroken.

Marc-Vivien Foe being stretchered off
Marc-Vivien Foe was declared dead after the game

"It is something no-one ever expected and we don't know if it could have been prevented.

"Nearly every case I read about someone is quoted as saying `He was a fit young lad'," he added.

"It is not only footballers it affects, it is people in ordinary life. If someone is a fit young man they don't think it can happen to them.

"Medicals are a lot stricter now than when I was a player. Now they all have lots of scans but these things can be missed.

"You might not be looking at the player's heart, you might be looking at his legs.

"Because Foe was 28 and had played the game a lot people will have presumed his heart was okay."

Yorath, aged 51, and now assistant manager of Huddersfield Town, said more could be done to prevent such tragedies.

"It can be prevented but it probably needs someone like Foe to highlight the problem," he said.

The BBC's Richard Bilton
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