Super League rugby coach's son, 19, dies from sudden death syndrome
The healthy teenage son of a Super League rugby coach has died from sudden arrythmic death syndrome just hours after falling ill yesterday morning.
Robbie Milward was taken ill at his home in Leigh, Lancashire, on Sunday morning and was taken to Bolton Hospital where he died that evening.
His father, Castleford Tigers’ coach Ian Millward, today spoke of his shock at the sudden end to his son's life.
Family tragedy: Ian Millward celebrates winning the Superleague trophy with his son, Robbie in 2002 at Old Trafford
Sudden arrythmic death cardiac death syndrome (SAD) is also known as sudden adult death syndrome. It is the name given to unexplained and fatal sudden heart attacks.
The condition occurs when, in about one in every 20 cases
of sudden cardiac death, no definite cause of death can be found – even
after the heart has been examined by an expert cardiac pathologist.
The conditions responsible for SADS cause a heart attack by bringing on a 'ventricular arrhythmia' (a disturbance in the heart's rhythm), even though the person has no structural heart disease.
On compassionate leave: Ian Millward has spoken of his sadness following the sudden death of his son
In a statement, Mr Millward said: 'On
behalf of all our family, we would like to thank everybody for their
kind messages of support, especially the rugby league family from both
the UK and Australia.
'The messages have been of comfort in this time of great sadness.
was a healthy young boy who died from a condition called sudden adult
death syndrome, which comprises of a massive heart attack – the sudden
nature of his death is making it even harder for us to deal with.
ask that journalists allow us the space and time needed to come to
terms with the loss of Robbie. Instead of flowers, we ask any
well-wishers to donate to the British Heart Foundation.'
The coach is now on compassionate leave.
Tigers’ stars, staff and members of the rugby league community spoke of their shock on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook.
A Tigers’ spokesman said: 'The club is shocked and deeply saddened by the death yesterday of Robbie Millward, son of Tigers’ head coach Ian Millward.
'Robbie, aged 19, was taken ill at his home in Leigh on Sunday morning and was then rushed to Bolton Hospital where he died later in the evening.
THE SUDDEN KILLER… AND WARNING SIGNS
Sudden arrhythmia death syndromes (SADS) are genetic heart rhythm abnormalities that can cause sudden death in young, apparently healthy people – who are undiagnosed.
Around 4,000 people die from the disease every year.
Warning signs include a family history of unexpected, unexplained sudden death under age 40; fainting or seizure during exercise and consistent or unusual chest pain or shortness of breath during exercise.
'All our thoughts are with Ian and his family at this sad time.'
Player Nick Youngquest wrote on Twitter yesterday evening: 'Don’t even know what to write really. Heart goes out to Basil [Ian Millward] and his family. Sad sad day. We are all here for you mate.'
A spokesman for Ian Millward’s former club St Helens said on Facebook: 'We’re hearing the distressing news that Ian Millward’s son Robbie died this morning.
'Some people will remember Robbie as the little lad who was always by Ian’s side – you’ll remember him getting a big high-five in the 2004 Challenge Cup game as he was sat behind our then coach. Our thoughts are with the Millward’s at this time.'
A spokesman for Leigh Centurians, where Ian Millward was boss last season, added: 'All at Leigh Centurions are saddened to hear about the passing of Ian Millward’s son.'