By Matthew Roscoe • 06 April 2022 • 16:44
French rugby player dies after three days in coma. Image: Pia Rugby/ Facebook
FRENCH rugby player Jonathan Robba died on Monday, April 4 after spending three days in a coma following an alleged assault over the weekend. Tributes have pour in after his death was announced.
The 33-year-old, from Pia, Pyrénées-Orientales in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, died at the main hospital in Perpignan after arriving ‘brain dead’ following a fight in his hometown.
Robba allegedly had an altercation with a young man on Saturday, April 2, which then spilt over into the next day resulting in the father being hospitalised.
According to French news outlet L’Indépendant, the two men met again to discuss the altercation from the previous day, however, the discussion turned violent.
Police were quick to the scene and arrested a 19-year-old in connection to the assault. Following the news of Robba’s death, the man is now facing much stronger charges.
The news outlet noted that an autopsy will take place on Thursday, April 7 to determine the exact cause of death.
Following the news, tributes have flooded social media for the young sportsman.
French league club Baroudeurs de Pia XIII, who Robba played for between 2017 to 2019, said that their former player will be “forever in our hearts”.
The club announced that they would wear black shirts sporting his name during their clash against Gratentour on Sunday, April 10.
“We are devastated,” said Gaby Borras, the club president.
“He was a determined and powerful player. He combined rugby and boxing. Jonathan was not particularly talkative, but he was very attentive to others, he had a heart on his sleeve. He was always ready to help, to get involved. In 2019, when the club was promoted to Elite 2, he gave priority to his professional career and did not play with us anymore. But he remained a faithful partner.”
He added that Mr Robba ran a family business in Pia that rented marquees and products for events. “As soon as we organised an event, he made tents, tables, and chairs available to the club free of charge. He was always there to lend a hand. He had even hired players in his company. It’s a loss terrible,” Borras said.
“We heard the sad news that he was hospitalised on Sunday after our match. Some players went to see him in hospital before he passed away. He was in a coma,” the club’s manager said. “His 13-year-old son plays here at the rugby school. Our thoughts are with his family.”
The mayor of Pia paid tribute: “Today the town of Pia loses a loved one, a lifelong Pianencque, member of an exemplary family. Jonathan Robba was always quick to help. An accomplished sportsman, an irreproachable father and a man of unparalleled kindness,” as reported by the midilibre.fr.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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