Young footy player who had to be put into a coma after suffering a heart attack in on-field fight was allegedly hit by his OWN TEAMMATE, opposing footballers claim – drawing a furious response
- The match was abandoned and the player treated on the field by paramedics
- It is alleged he was punched in the chest at a part of the field with no cameras
- The opposition club has alleged that one of his own teammates struck the player
- The player’s club has strongly denied those claims
The Tasmanian footballer who went into cardiac arrest during an Aussie Rules match last Saturday was allegedly struck by one of his own teammates, the opposition team has claimed.
Play was stopped in the senior match between the Burnie Dockers and Penguin Two Blues on Saturday afternoon at Burnie’s West Park Football Oval following reports of an altercation that saw a player collapse on the field.
Dockers player Tobi Mcinnes’s life was saved by trainers, club staff and paramedics after he went into cardiac arrest following the clash. Tasmanian police are investigating the incident.
According to The Mercury, a Dockers source claimed Mcinnes suffered the heart attack after receiving a ‘heavy punch to the chest’ from an opponent, but a Two Blues source said the incident was caused by ‘friendly fire’ between two Dockers.
The match was filmed, but the Dockers said the incident allegedly occurred in the pocket where it could not be captured on video.
Tobi McInnes first season with the Burnie Dockers after signing up in the off-season
A Dockers source said claims Mcinnes was hit by a teammate were false and ‘disappointing’.
‘None of our players hit him,’ they said.
The source said the early signs were encouraging for Mcinnes.
‘A CT scan of his brain has come up clear,’ they said. ‘They brought him out [of the coma on Sunday morning.
‘He’s been sent to Launceston to do tests on his heart.’
The source said the player’s future involvement with the Dockers was unclear.
‘We will be supporting him through his recovery,’ he said. ‘We’d love to keep him around but I don’t know if he’ll ever be able to play again.’
Tobi Mcinnes was taken to hospital for further scans and treatment after his life was saved by trainers, club staff and paramedics when he went into cardiac arrest
The match was abandoned following the incident with the Two Blues leading the Dockers by 11.7 (73) to 3.5 (23). The Burnie Dockers have cancelled training this week and may seek to postpone their pending clash against Smithton this weekend.
‘We’re calling on witnesses to come forward and provide assistance to investigators,’ Detective Inspector Steve Jones said.
‘Police take any instances of assault seriously, and we need the community’s help to make sure those responsible are properly identified.’
The Burnie Football Club posted a statement on Facebook from president Jamie Boag to ‘acknowledge and thank everyone who assisted our club following the incident in yesterday’s senior game’.
‘The quick actions of those involved definitely saved Tobi’s life,’ the statement read.
‘A heart felt thank you to our trainers & staff Kim Chatwin, Damien Moore, Mieke Bacon & Craig Stretton, Penguin trainers Rod Adams & Lyndon O’Neil and Field Umpire Brett Menzies for their initial assistance.
‘Tobi was so very lucky that we had three paramedics watching the game in Hannah Best, Elka Best & Holly Johnstone who ran on to the ground to render assistance and continued their assistance even after the ambulance arrived.
‘Without the efforts of these individuals Tobi may not be with us today.
‘It was a traumatic experience for all involved and for those who witnessed it.
The ground at West Park Oval where the alleged incident took place
AFL Tasmania boss Damian Gill said: ‘We strongly condemn violence in our game’.
‘Our focus is supporting those involved and impacted. AFL Tasmania will continue to work with the clubs, the league and the NWUA (North West Umpires Association) to gather information and offer support to those involved.
‘As this is a police matter, AFL Tasmania and the NWFL will not be making any further comment at this time.’
Police are appealing for any witness, or anybody with video footage of the incident to contact police on 131 444 or via Crimestoppers 1800 333 000.