13-year-old Marvellous Onanefe Johnson

Shock as young footballer dies during game in Malaga

The 13-year-old collapsed on the pitch five minutes before the end of the match and efforts by Local Police officers and paramedics to revive him were unsuccessful


The death of a young footballer during a match on Sunday, 11 December, has sent shockwaves through the Puerto Malagueño club and the sporting sector in general in Malaga.

Five minutes before the game against Los Prados was due to finish, 13-year-old Marvellous Onanefe Johnson collapsed and efforts by Local Police officers and then paramedics to revive him were unsuccessful.

The match was taking place at the Julián Torralba football ground. / SUR

Club president Juan Manuel Liñán, better known as Tito, was in tears as he told SUR what had happened on Sunday night.

“I was in the office, but I heard a lot of commotion and came out to see what was happening,” he said. “A young nurse had been in the stands, watching the game, and she was the first to try to revive him while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. We brought out our defibrillator but his heart wasn’t working. The police and paramedics were on the scene very quickly, and they tried for around an hour to revive him. They put an IV in because they wanted to get him to hospital as soon as possible, but it did no good,” he explained.

Marvellous Johnson has three brothers, one of whom – just a year younger – also plays for the team, Tito said. The club managers are doing everything they can to support the family in their tragic loss.