Captain of Wild Boars football team dies in UK

By Ngan Anh   February 15, 2023 | 08:47 am PT
Captain of Wild Boars football team dies in UK
Duangpetch Promthep. Photo by Facebook/Supatpong Methigo
Duangpetch Promthep, one of the boys rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand in 2018 by an international team, has died in the U.K., Channel News Asia reported Wednesday.

According to the BBC, the 17-year-old was reported to have sustained a head injury, but the cause of death is unclear.

The abbot of Phra That Doi Ngao Temple in Chiang Rai, told Thai PBS that Duangphet, known as "Dom", had been admitted to hospital for three days after a fall.

The abbot said he had been contacted by Duangphet's mother who told him her son was put on a ventilator after the incident but later died, according to The Telegraph.

Supatpong Methigo, a Buddhist monk and Duangpetch's former teacher, said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that he had been informed by Duangpetch's grandmother that the teenager had died in an accident.

He described Duangpetch as a good boy who studied hard and was good at praying.

"In your next life, may you become my student again," he wrote.

Thai non-profit organization Zico Foundation, which helped Duangpetch obtain a scholarship to study in England, expressed its condolences in a statement on Facebook on Wednesday.

Former Thai national team captain and coach Kiatisuk Senamuang, whose foundation helped Duangpetch secure a scholarship at the Brooke House College Football Academy in Leicestershire, described him as a polite, kind gentleman who dreamt of playing for his country.

"I wanted to see his dream realized ... but rest well now Dom," he posted on Instagram.

In 2022, Duangpetch enrolled in the Brooke House College Football Academy in Leicestershire, which he said was a "dream come true".

"I promise I will focus and do my best," he said in a post on Instagram.

Eakapol Academy, set up by former coach of the Wild Boar Academy Eakapol Chanthawong, said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that Duangpetch will be a role model for younger team members as a fighter who was never discouraged in his football journey.

"May you rest in peace and be in a good world, Dom."

The teenager, also known as Dom, was the captain of the Wild Boar Academy football team that was trapped in Tham Luang cave while exploring in 2018 with their coach.

The 12 boys - aged 11 to 16 - and their 25-year-old coach had biked to the cave in Mae Sai District on June 23, 2018, going in to explore the 7km cave complex without knowing a heavy monsoon rain would fall.

By the time they wanted to leave, water had filled the chambers and blocked their exit. Their disappearance triggered a search and rescue operation that snowballed into one of the most complex multinational missions that the world witnessed.

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