UPDATE: Parents of young footballer Luke Abrahams “want answers” following his sudden death

Football club dedicate match to memory of young footballer Luke Abrahams who died suddenly

Football club dedicate match to memory of young footballer Luke Abrahams who died suddenly. Image: Luke Abrahams/Facebook

THE parents of Luke Abrahams, who died suddenly on Monday, January 23 at the age of 20, “want answers” after the young footballer died on a hospital operating table following complaints of a ‘sore throat’ a week prior to his unexpected death.

UPDATE 11.57 am (February 17) – The parents of 20-year-old amateur footballer Luke Abrahams, who died suddenly earlier this year, have said they “want answers” from the NHS after receiving the post-mortem report.

The report revealed the young footballer died of natural causes including septicaemia, Lemierre syndrome (a form of bacterial infection), and necrotising fasciitis (a type of flesh-eating disease), as reported by Northampton Chronicle.

Speaking to the UK news outlet, father Richard Abrahams and mother Julie Needham said that the post-mortem has left “a lot of unanswered questions.”

“We just can’t believe he’s not here anymore,” the couple added.

“We keep thinking he’s out with his mates and he’s going to be home any minute.”

The parents noted that Luke first complained about feeling ill on Sunday, January 15.

He told his mother that his throat had flared up and he feared he had tonsillitis.

After visiting a GP on January 16, Luke was prescribed antibiotics, although a national shortage reportedly stopped him from purchasing them.

When his symptoms had not eased, the young footballer, who helped coach his younger brother’s football team, contacted 111 on January 17.

He was instructed to go to Northampton General Hospital A&E.

However, after initially being told that he would be put on an intravenous drip, Luke reportedly left without any treatment around two hours later.

On January 18, Luke complained of a cramp in his leg and ended up calling 111 again.

On January 20, he told his mum that couldn’t take the pain in his leg anymore so she called 999.

Julia was told that because her son “wasn’t critical” she would need to contact Penvale Park to organise transport to A&E for him, as reported by the Northampton Chronicle.

“I passed this message on to Penvale Medical Centre and, two hours later, they said they have never heard of anything like that,” Julia said.

“I was getting angry now because he really wasn’t well and I couldn’t get him to the hospital.”

She added: “Nobody had taken responsibility.

“Luke was really worried at this point,” the mum explained after having to ring 999 for a second time.

When an ambulance crew arrived, they found that both Luke’s heart rate and blood pressure were high, which the paramedics from East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) put down to him fighting the throat infection he first complained about on January 15.

Richard said: “Alarm bells should have rang for me then, ‘fighting a bacterial infection’. They also did a sugar level test and said it was high and asked if Luke had diabetes, which he didn’t.

“All they said was that on Monday he needs to go to the GP for a diabetes check. If your blood sugar level is high, they should have taken him to the hospital straight away. It should never be that high. The ambulance crew said ‘our job is to make sure he can walk to the toilet’ and that was it.”

Luke told his parents, “I just can’t take this anymore” and his family called 111 again on Sunday, January 22.

Julie said: “They took him into hospital for further checks and that was it, we got a call at 1am from Luke saying can you come down they want to see you, and that’s when we were told he has a 50/50 chance of living, that he’s really poorly, he’s got this bacterial eating infection and it’s a life-threatening situation.

“We were shocked but thought to ourselves, ‘they can save him’, we put our trust in them. They said this is a life-threating operation, we might have to amputate his leg. They amputated his leg but said he was too far gone.

“He said, ‘Dad, I’ll be okay, you take care of Jake and mum’. That’s when I felt he knew he was going to die. I get the impression they [doctors] said a lot more to him than to us. Luke was trying to protect us because that’s Luke. We watched 20 people working on him in theatre and he didn’t pull through.”

Speaking to the news outlet, the couple said that they wanted answers as what happened to their son could happen to “any child”.

“He was 20 years old. We want answers. There are a lot of unanswered questions. It’s a catalogue of errors. I’m not taking any of that, ‘we’ll learn from our mistakes’, there’s too much of that going on, someone should have taken him in for a proper test. We’re grieving parents. I don’t want to see any more grieving parents.”

The couple added: “We’re a close family. Luke was a family man. It was always the four of us. We did everything together. He was such a popular boy. He used to say to me, ‘everybody knows me’. He’s a caring boy, always has been. Always been a character. Always liked to be the centre of attention. It will never ever be the same.”

Integrated Care Northamptonshire responded to Northampton Chronicle’s calls for answers.

A spokesperson said: “On behalf of the NHS in Northamptonshire, we wish to express our sincere condolences to the family and our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time.

“All providers are reviewing the care and treatment provided in this case and until such time as their reviews are completed, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

ORIGINAL 8.05 am (January 26) – Tributes flooded social media after it was heartbreakingly revealed that young footballer Luke Abrahams died suddenly earlier this week.

Hunsbury Hawks have dedicated their next home game to the memory of footballer Luke Abrahams who died suddenly on Monday, January 23 at the age of 20.

BBC Radio Northampton‘s William Oelrich wrote on Facebook: “In memory of Luke Abrahams, our game on Sunday will go ahead in memory of him.”

He added: “We have a planned minute silence before the game and will also do a whip around so anything is appreciated and will be donated to Luke’s family. The game kick’s off at 10:30 and is at Abington Park on Pitch Two. Hunsbury play in a claret top if you’re struggling to find us.”

A GoFundMe page was set up following the sudden death of the young footballer.

“It is with great sadness that I’m even writing this but yesterday 23/01/2023 Luke Abrahams lost his life at the tender age of just 20. It’s extremely difficult to even put into words how it feels,” organiser Jamie Podkowka wrote.

“Luke was an incredible human being, full of life and love (West Ham and Beer mainly) that I had the pleasure of knowing.”

Jamie added: “Alongside his Dad, Richard, and I, he helped coach his younger brother’s (Jake) football team and gave up his time selflessly to develop not only the football skills of those younger than him but in creating unforgettable bonds and friendships amongst the whole team.

“From what I know of Luke’s short stay, I know it was an eventful one. I’ll miss the re-run version of events on a Sunday afternoon from his wild Saturday nights and his extreme positivity behind his beloved Irons.

“I’ve seen many tributes across social media and have heard of memorial fixtures being organised to remember Luke and I really wanted to reach out to everyone that knew Luke in any capacity to contribute to his send-off.

“Richard, Julie and Jake would never ask of anything from anybody and I know no amount of money will ease the pain of their loss but I know Luke was loved by many and I certainly know that I still owed him a pint back. Big Love and RIP Lukey… have a few on us all up there mate xx”

Other tributes flooded social media for the popular player.

Hunsbury Hawks wrote on Twitter: “It is with the greatest sadness that we had to say goodbye to Luke this week.

“He was a great player but an even better friend to us all. He started it all for the Hawks and we wouldn’t be here without him.”

“Team Collingtree are devastated to hear of the loss of Luke Abrahams,” the Collingtree wrote.

It added: “Taken far too young, Luke was a friendly and familiar face to many people in the pub and will be missed by us all.

“All of our thoughts and love go out to Richard, Julie and all of his family and friends at this unthinkably difficult time.”

A fellow West Ham fan wrote: “West Ham family, I need all of your help please.

“Earlier this week we lost one of our own, Luke Abrahams. At just 20, a Northants Hammer sadly passed away and I thought about getting a message on the big screen for our next home game to pay our respects, please share and tag.”

The news comes after a popular former non-league footballer and coach in the UK died earlier this month.

Former non-league footballer and coach Chris Hitchings died following a battle with cancer.

Sarah Hitchings, Chris’ wife of 20 years, paid tribute to her husband as multiple non-league football clubs also shared their sorrow at the loss of the former footballer and coach.

On Wednesday, January 4, Sarah wrote on Facebook: “My beautiful husband gained his angel wings at 1:52 am 😇 he’s the strongest, bravest kindest soul I’ve come across & he’s left the biggest whole in my ♥️.

“No amount of words will bring my partner in crime, my right arm, my everything back. I’m truly heartbroken beyond’s words. He was a pure diamond & I will be forerver grateful for the best 20 years of my life & I wouldn’t change any of it, only to have longer.”

She added: “He never stopped fighting or looking out for me or our little family if only ♥️ could have saved him. All my ♥️ always Hitchings so glad we got to say “I do” 😘

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

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 editorial@euroweeklynews.com.