Footy player dies after tackle
Rugby league player Wiremu Kahui died in hospital this week after a tragic on-field accident in Perth.
Kahui's Ellenbrook Rabbitohs club on Wednesday confirmed the father of four had died almost two weeks after he was rushed to hospital following a tackle that went wrong during a first grade game at George Burnett Park in Carawa on September 19.
Kahui was rushed to Royal Perth Hospital after an ambulance was called following the on-field incident.
According to reports he was then transferred to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital before he succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.
The NRLWA has announced a preliminary investigation into the incident has found the tackle was not "illegal or dangerous".
Friends of the Kahui family have described the incident as a "freak accident" - according to watoday.com.au.
The incident, which occurred during the Rabbitohs' clash with South Perth Lions, has rocked the Ellenbrook club with Kahui among the most senior players within the first-grade team.
The vice captain is being remembered by his extended family and wife Haylee as a "beloved brother and passionate role model".
Ellenbrook president Karyssa Morrell posted a heartbroken message on the club's Facebook page this week.
"As I write this, my heart is heavy," she posted on Friday.
"The passing of our beloved brother and friend, Wiremu Kahui, is hard to digest.
"Wiremu and his family have been pivotal in our clubs growth since it's inception. Managing, coaching and playing within our juniors, involved in senior leadership groups, and most recently taking on Vice Captaincy of our Val Murphy boys.
"Our Mu was a born leader, a role model, passionate about our family, our club and our game.
"This year alone, he took on two junior teams to make sure the kids didn't miss out. He represented our club in media campaigns to promote the game coming back since covid hit.
"He was at our club training, coaching and playing pretty much every day of the week! His commitment and efforts had to be honoured and acknowledged, and it meant a lot to still present his family with the ERRLC Mod Coach of the Year Award for 2020.
"He fought hard and while this news will have a significant impact on his family, our members and the wider rugby league community, please know Mu will be with us in our hearts forever.
"I will always be grateful for his many contributions to our club and I feel honoured to have even known him. Wiremu is a true legend!
"To our sister Haylee, the boys, and extended family, we will all continue to be here to support you in whatever way we can, always."
The club also shared a video of Kahui's teammates praying for his recovery last week with several players saying: "Love you bro".
A GoFundMe campaign has been established to support the Kahui family.
On Saturday the campaign had raised more than $29,000.
It comes just weeks after Joel Dark, the cousin of Roosters captain Boyd Cordner, also died in hospital five days after a horrific accident on the footy field.
The 19-year-old suffered a serious head injury while he was making his first grade debut for Newcastle Central at St John Oval last month and was rushed to the hospital for emergency brain surgery.
Originally published as Rabbitohs player dead after tackle tragedy