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Proud Dad Dies As He Celebrates Son's Goal

Wednesday January 15 2014


We Are Barnsley We Are Barnsley


A PROUD dad died from a heart attack after collapsing pitchside as he celebrated his son scoring a goal in a Sunday league football match.

Mark Wildsmith, 45, was cheering on Liam, 15, in the match between Hoyland Town Jaguars and Treeton Terriers at Elsecar Cricket Club on January 5. 

Best friend Mark Haran desperately tried to revive him by doing CPR and this kept him alive until an ambulance arrived - but he died later in hospital.

Although he had high blood pressure, Mark, of Burtop Croft, Hemingfield, was thought to be in generally good health.

Kirk Balk School pupil Liam told of the moment he knew something was wrong.

He said: "I'd just scored at the end of the game. I heard someone say 'Liam, your dad's ill' and I saw him on the floor and his best mate Mark was doing CPR.

"He did everything he could and that at least gave my dad a chance.

"He loved football but it came second if his family needed him. I've been playing in the Magpies since I was nine and he always went out of his way to come and see us."

Friends and family have flooded Mark's Facebook page with tributes, describing him as 'a lovely lad' and a 'very dear friend who will be sadly missed'.

Wife Diane, 45, said football and family had been Mark's life.

She added: "He was a lifelong Barnsley supporter - I remember being in labour and having to wait until he got back from a Barnsley match.

"But when we got married we had a pact saying we wouldn't force our kids to be fans one way or the other, so Liam is a Sheffield Wednesday fan.

"There was so much good banter between them about that."

Mark, born in Rotherham, grew up in Hoyland and had many friends there. Part of a big, close family - including two brothers, three godchildren and many nieces and nephews - he was a co-founder of the 'Hoyland Reds', a Barnsley FC supporters club.

Mark's brother Antony, 36, said Mark used to play for a steelworks team as a goalkeeper and also played five-a-side.

He said: "One time we were at a match in Birmingham and their fans were chucking food down on our heads.

"Mark grabbed a pie that came down, shouted 'thanks mate' and ate it."

The funeral is on January 17 at St Helen's Catholic Church, Hoyland, at 11.15am and afterwards at Ardsley crematorium.

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Reply Posted by andy on Wednesday January 15 2014 at 10:37
Thoughts with family n friends, wateva game it is you should always go home, rip fella.

Reply Posted by me on Wednesday January 15 2014 at 11:29
Aww bless. Two of his favourite things together. Family and football. Rip

Reply Posted by jase on Wednesday January 15 2014 at 12:10
this is truly awful , that family must be devastated and my thoughts are with them . bet e was a great dad

Reply Posted by Craig on Wednesday January 15 2014 at 13:28
rest in piece mate, i didnt know you but to go at 45 is shocking.
thought are with the family.

Reply Posted by bob on Wednesday January 15 2014 at 20:52
this has happen before to my mates dad and its not a very nice to see i know how Liam feels and my thoughts are with his family at this time along with his team mates

Reply Posted by jan on Wednesday January 15 2014 at 22:08
thoughts are with the family xx