Portsmouth's sports community 'prays' for boy, 17, who had heart attack at football match

A TALENTED young football player is facing the ‘fight of his life’ after suffering a suspected heart attack during a weekend match.

Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 11:04 am

Josh Miroy was part-way through a game with AFC Portchester at Cosham’s King George V Playing Fields on Sunday morning when he collapsed.

Staff and players rallied to the teenager’s aid providing life-saving first aid before the arrival of the emergency services at 11.37am.

Paramedics were joined by an air ambulance team as they fought to save the young player’s life.

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The 17-year-old prospect, who signed with Paulsgrove Football Club earlier this year but was playing with Portchester after returning from injury, was rushed to hospital and remains on life-support.

News of his collapse sent shockwaves through Portsmouth’s sporting community, with football clubs sidelining rivalries and uniting to support Josh and his family.

Wayne Grant, manager of Paulsgrove FC, said the display of affection had left him overwhelmed.

He said: ‘Josh is the most honest, lovely kid I’ve ever met. He would do anything for anyone.

Paulsgrove Football Club's Josh Miroy, 17, collapsed with a suspected heart attack on Sunday at King George V Playing Fields.

‘He is one of the family. I’ve watched him grow from a boy to a man. He is a huge character and an incredible young talent.’

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Mr Grant, who spoke to The News with permission from Josh’s family, said the youngster was renowned for being ‘incredibly fit’ and determined, having played ‘hundreds and hundreds of games’ in the past.

‘What’s happened has come as a massive shock to everyone,’ he added.

King George V Playing Fields in Cosham, on Sunday, September 13, hours after a 17-year-old footballer collapsed. Picture Richard Lemmer

‘Right now it’s just a waiting game. He is very poorly. But he is a Grove lad and a fighter. He will win this fight, I’m sure.

‘Everyone is right behind him and his family. All our thoughts and prayers are with them.’

Paulsgrove’s captain, Aaron Fennemore, who is ‘best friends’ with Josh’s dad Alex – who is in his seventh season with the Grove – is understood to be supporting the family in hospital.

Josh signed with Paulsgrove this year having previously played for Havant and Waterlooville Football Club’s academy and Horndean Football Club’s youth team before that.

The air ambulance was at the King George V playing fields in Cosham just after 11.30am on September 13 2020. Picture: Tim Hearn

Last week, he played a club match with Paulsgrove alongside his dad having celebrated his 17th birthday in July.

Scores of football clubs from across the south have since sent out messages of support online.

Taking to Twitter, Havant and Waterlooville FC, said: ‘Everyone here at Westleigh Park is behind you Josh & are praying that you pull through.’

In a statement online, Fleur de Lys Football Club said: ‘Keep fighting Josh ... we are all praying for you to pull through.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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