Belgian defender dies after 3 days in coma

Gregory Mertens collapsed on Monday night during a game and died today after being pulled off life support


Belgian and Sporting Lokeren defender Gregory Mertens has died after three days in coma.

The 24-year-old collapsed on the night of Monday, April 27 during Sporting Lokeren game against Genk after a heart attack.

He has been in coma since then but a statement from the club revealed that the former Belgian U-21 star was taken off life support today.

The Lokeren spokesman Herman Van de Putte said Mertens’ condition continued to worsen and the player’s family had agreed with doctors to switch off the life support system.

“Today something happened which no one could ever dare to predict. Much too soon, we are saying goodbye to Gregory Mertens," the club statement read.

“We are a football club. Everyone in and around the club lives and breathes football. But suddenly something happens which makes us realise football is just football. Today is such a time.”

Gregory Mertens kicked off his senior career at Cercle Brugge in 2011 and made the move to Lokeren in January last year.


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