Gabby Logan has recalled the death of her brother Daniel Yorath, who collapsed in the family’s back garden while playing football with their dad, former Leeds United and Wales footballer Terry Yorath. The BBC presenter, who was just 19 at the time, said Denmark’s Christian Eriksen’s recent collapse during the Euros 2020 triggered emotional memories.
It comes after the Danish midfielder, 29, collapsed in Saturday’s game with Finland and had to be resuscitated on the pitch.
Eriksen says he is “fine under the circumstances” and posted a picture from his hospital bed with a thumbs-up, as he made his first comments since suffering a cardiac arrest.
The professional footballer has since thanked fans from around the world after their support.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Gabby has addressed Eriksen’s recent setback.
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Gabby Logan says Eriksen’s collapse ‘stirred up memories’ of brother
Gabby Logan pictured with her mum, sister and brother Daniel on the right
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“Saturday night stirred up a lot of memories about Daniel, what happened to Christian, and I realised my own personal journey, my career, evolved in many ways out of a need to have some sort of a connection with his life,” Gabby said.
The 48-year-old explained that her younger brother was an “exceptional player” who was poised for sporting greatness.
She added that Daniel was just a few months away from his 16th birthday and was already signed to play with Leeds United in 1992.
The BBC broadcaster went on to add that he had died from a “hidden heart condition”.
Gabby Logan is a regular sports presenter on the BBC
Christian Eriksen assured fans that he is recovering in hospital
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Gabby explained: “It’s easy when somebody dies very young to almost deify them and glorify their life but he’d already been looked at by Wales Under 18s, he was signed for Leeds United, and he was absolutely brimming with passion and hope and possibility.
“He was just a few months shy of his 16th birthday and he was about to start his full-time professional contract when he died of a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a hidden heart condition.”
She added: “We had absolutely no idea that he had this ticking time bomb inside him.”
In hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle cells enlarge and the walls of the heart chambers thicken and reduce in size and cannot hold much blood.
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Also, the flow of blood through the heart may be obstructed, according to the NHS.
They added that hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common cause of sudden unexpected death in childhood and in young athletes.
Addressing Daniel’s death, Gabby said: “He was playing football in the garden with my dad, and my other brother, who was six at the time.
“And he went over to the long grass to pick up a ball, fell over, and died.”
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Gabby, who is best known for presenting Final Score and The Premier League Show, argued it’s too “simplistic” to say one has to choose between football and someone’s life, as the discussion moved to professional footballers suffering cardiac arrest.
She also pointed to how screening for health conditions in young footballers has improved since Daniel’s death, as well as the use of defibrillators.
“Leeds United had just won the league that year, and Daniel hadn’t been screened,” Gabby said.
“You might not catch a young athlete’s condition every week, it might be one a month, but isn’t that worth pursuing.”
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