The Namibian football fraternity is still reeling in deep shock following the untimely death of charismatic former Brave Warriors and Civics stalwart defender Franklin April, who died on Sunday from a suspected asthma attack.
Asthma is a disease affecting the airways that carry air to and from your lungs. People who suffer from this chronic condition are said to be asthmatic. An asthma episode, or an asthma attack, occurs when symptoms are worse than usual. They can come on suddenly and can be mild, moderate or severe.
April – whose death was confirmed by Thrupass Social League (TSL) co-founder Isack Hamata yesterday – is said to have succumbed to an asthma attack after experiencing difficulties breathing, which caused him to lose consciousness.
TSL is a social football league played on Sundays and is aimed at further harnessing relationships between former players and coaches. The league consisted mostly of former players and teams from different suburbs within Windhoek.
Contrary to earlier rumours on Sunday that April had collapsed on the field and died, a bereaved Hamata dismissed such talk, saying April played his team’s entire match and was fine afterwards, standing at the sidelines cracking his usual jokes.
“He played the entire match and was still doing fine watching the other matches from the sidelines with his teammates. The problem only started after some moments, where he complained of having difficulty breathing and was quickly rushed to the hospital at around 15h30, but sadly at around 19h00 we received a call, saying April was no more,” Hamata said.
A quick glance at his impressive profile shows that April was without a doubt a highly decorated footballer in his own right and is widely recognised for being part of the 2008 African Cup of Nations Brave Warriors squad.
During his glittering career, the 31-year-old, who was popularly known as ‘Die Ses’ for always donning his favourite number 6 jersey, earned a total of 30 caps for the Brave Warriors, while at club level he won multiple Namibia Premier League titles with Civics and also went on to make seven African Champions League appearances with the club.
April also earned himself 20 caps with the U-20 national team and a further four caps with the U-23 National team.