Berry Shoalhaven Heads Magpies rugby league player suffers a heart attack and tries to continue playing
A park rugby league player for the Berry Shoalhaven Heads Magpies in New South Wales is recovering in a hospital in Wollongong after suffering a heart attack on the field.
In a display of amazing resilience and love of the game, Michael Blattner, a reserve player for the Magpies, suffered a heart attack during a recent game, but still managed to walk to the bench on his own.
The 49-year-old striker, affectionately known as ‘Blatts’, even expressed his desire to return to the game later, prompting his teammates to marvel at his determination.
“He smashed a pie, a Coke and some red frogs and was ready to go back out,” said Magpies reserve league coach Marcus Rogers.
“Everyone talked him out of it, though.”
Blattner, undeterred by his fear of a heart attack, drove himself to the hospital, where medical professionals confirmed the seriousness of his condition.
An angiogram revealed blockages in five of his arteries, with one artery dangerously narrowed by an alarming 99 percent.
Michael Blattner was playing reserve class for the Berry Shoalhaven Heads Magpies in New South Wales when he suffered a heart attack
The 49-year-old footy player is now recovering in Wollongong Hospital and will have triple bypass surgery
Amazingly, Blattner walked off the field, asked to be put back in the game, and drove himself to the hospital after the medical incident
The rugby league community, known for its close-knit camaraderie, wasted no time in rallying around their beloved teammate.
Blattner’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to support his recovery, with an initial goal of $5,000. Amazingly, the page has already received an outpouring of generosity, surpassing its goal and raising $7780 from 107 donations at the time of writing.
The heartfelt GoFundMe page chronicles Blattner’s lifelong dedication to the sport and highlights his remarkable achievements.
Mick has been playing rugby league for over 40 years.
“We, Michael’s kids, are trying to ease Mick’s financial stress by setting up a GoFundMe page. The money will go directly to Michael to help him on his long road to recovery.”
News of Blattner’s health problems quickly spread across social media, sparking a wave of support from the Group 7 Senior Rugby League community.
A Facebook post from the league urged everyone to contribute to the GoFundMe campaign, highlighting Blattner’s status as a Group 7 legend with a decorated rugby league career that spanned multiple clubs and numerous first-class premierships.
In response to the overwhelming support, Blattner’s son, Kealen, expressed deep gratitude.
“He is very grateful to everyone who has donated or shared. We as a family are beyond grateful for all the support he has received,” Kealen said in a Facebook post.
He also expressed the hope that his father would one day contribute to the game in a coaching or training capacity.
Blattner is a much loved member of the local rugby league community and has also spent time coaching
Blattner has rugby league in his blood and is likely to continue coaching with the Magpies when he is fully recovered
Coach Marcus Rogers praised Blattner as a “great guy who had given so much to the game we love” and praised his incredible on-field agility despite his age.
Rogers praised Blattner’s energy, passion and wealth of knowledge and highlighted his significant contributions to the team this season.
Blattner’s daughter, Jasmin Boyd, took to the GoFundMe page to recount the harrowing experience. She described her father’s unwavering toughness and dedication to the game, highlighting his miraculous recovery from the heart attack.
Boyd revealed that despite his initial intentions to return to competition, her father was now preparing for triple bypass surgery, which requires an expected recovery period of 8 to 10 weeks.
“Mick was first grade captains coach in 2003 and in 2004 when Berry made the grand final, was a player in seasons 2011, 12, 13 and 2023 and has coached Berry under 18s in the past,” wrote the Berry Shoalhaven Heads Magpies RLFC. in a statement.
“The Magpies community wishes Mick a speedy and full recovery, we will post any updates as they come in.”