Tragic details have emerged about the death of Manly Sea Eagles rising star Keith Titmuss as the NRL continues to mourn the heartbreaking news.
Titmuss tragically passed away on Monday, aged 20.
The Sea Eagles revealed Titmuss took ill after a 90-minute training session in Narrabeen on Sydney’s northern beaches, and was transported by ambulance to Northern Beaches Hospital. According to reports, he was conscious when leaving the session in the ambulance.
He was then transferred to Royal North Shore Hospital, where he passed away soon after.
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Titmuss was among the players who returned for the first day of pre-season training on Monday and was reportedly showing no signs of ill-health when the fitness session ended.
He is reported to have started feeling ill as the team finished training with a series of stretches and alerted staff he was experiencing severe cramps and fatigue.
More tragic details emerged on Monday with reports Titmuss collapsed shortly after he began to feel unwell.
“He finished the session fine. They started doing some stretches afterwards and he started complaining of some pretty severe cramps,” reporter Adam 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.”
He said the cause of death is still unknown.
“Basically no one knows what the cause of this. 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.”
Titmuss’ death has shocked the NRL, with Manly players called into a meeting on Monday afternoon to be told of the tragic news.
Channel 9 reporter Danny Weidler also told The Big Sports Breakfast the cause of death is not known.
“I don’t know exactly what happened, nobody does at the moment,” he said.
“But going forward it’s difficult for everyone to handle and it’s difficult for the team environment, but more importantly for the family.”
Titmuss was a member of Manly’s senior squad for the 2021 season, but had not yet made his NRL debut. He was named the club’s Jersey Flegg Cup players’ player in 2019.
Manly described Titmuss as “very promising young forward who had come through the Sea Eagles junior representative teams as a teenager”.
He was first signed by the club when he was aged 14 and was a popular figure in his six years coming through the development program.
“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.”
Club chief executive Stephen Humphreys said the Sea Eagles were unaware of any underlying medical conditions.
He told The Sydney Morning Herald: “We are also without answers about what has happened.
“I wasn’t present when it happened, but I am on my way to the hospital, Des is there now, so we might find out more then.”
He said in a club statement: “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.
“We are working with the NRL’s wellbeing team to offer support and counselling to our playing group and staff.”
The NRL has confirmed the game will do its best to support the Titmuss family.
“The game has lost a promising young player with the world at his feet,” NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said in a statement.
“Keith had made it into Manly’s top 30 for the 2021 season after coming through the club’s junior ranks.
“We will make sure Keith’s family, the club and our players receive every support they need from the game.
“We are one family and today we have lost a member of that family. On behalf of the Commission and the game I send my deepest condolences to Keith’s family.”