By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent
A Hyde FC footballer is calling on clubs to send all players for annual heart check-ups following the untimely death of Piermario Morosini, whose funeral took place today.
Luca Havern, 23 – who had an operation on his heart following doctors discovering he had tachycardia in 2009 - has spoken following the on-pitch death of Morosini from a cardiac arrest on April 14.
Morosini, 25, died less than a month after the world was shocked by Bolton Wanderers’ midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch from the same condition.
Luca said: “I think all players should be screened when they return for pre-season. Clubs scan for heart conditions when you’re signed at youth level, but it could be five years or more before they check again.”
“These things can develop within a year, so there’s a big risk they are not being picked up soon enough," he said.
"Clubs should take the lead on this but I expect the FA to bring some rule in to make sure it happens."
From his own experience, Luca explained the scan that found his condition only took about 30 minutes in total.
“I had to have an operation on my heart after I kept having palpitations - I had to get it checked out and they found it was tachycardia."
Then playing for Stockport County, Luca faced the unenviable thought of not being able to have his operation due to the club’s dire financial situation – they simply could not afford it.
“The British Heart Foundation paid for it in the end and I’m very grateful to them. I like to give back to them by organising fundraising fashion shows and other events.
He believes heart problems for footballers are more common than thought by the general public, given the proximity of Morisini and Muamba’s troubles.
“I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence or not that they both suffered the same thing at the same time – at Stockport there were another three lads who developed the same condition as me.”
MOROSINI: The tragic midfielder's on-pitch death left the other players in tears
Thousands of Italian fans turned out today for Morosini’s funeral. The 25-year-old was on loan at Serie B club Livorno from Udinese and collapsed during a game with Pescara.
The Italian FA cancelled last weekend’s fixtures as a mark of respect to Morosini. Livorno have retired the number 25 shirt he wore as a tribute, and he represented his country over 50 times at various youth levels.