Captain of boys' soccer team, rescued in Thailand cave in 2018, dead at 17
The captain of the boys’ soccer team that was dramatically rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand in 2018 has died in England while attending a sports academy, reports say.
Duangpetch "Dom" Promthep of the "Wild Boars" team was one of 12 players who along with their coach became trapped in the Tham Luang cave during an unexpected rainstorm in June that year.
Faced with tremendous challenges, a team of the world’s most experienced divers navigated the maze of flooded, narrow cave tunnels. The divers were joined by Thai forces and more than 10,000 volunteers to complete the daring rescue mission.
"Duangpetch Promthep has now gone to another world," Supatpong Methigo, a Buddhist monk who taught the team in Thailand's northern Chiang Rai province, wrote on Facebook, according to Reuters. "I hope he will be reborn and become my student again in the next life."
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Promthep, 17, was found unconscious in his dorm room at the soccer academy he was attending in Leicestershire since late 2022, the BBC reports. He later died at a local hospital.
"I am saddened to hear that Dom Duangpetch Phromthep, captain of the Wild Boars football team from the 2018 Tham Luang cave incident, has died in the UK," British Ambassador to Thailand Mark Gooding tweeted. "My condolences to Dom's family and friends."
The cause of his death was not immediately clear, but Leicestershire Police told the BBC it is not being classified as suspicious.
File: Thanaporn Promthep, mother of one of the 12 missing boys, displays an image believed to have been taken in 2017 of her son Duangpetch Promthep, nicknamed "Dom" (pictured 2nd R-with light) and his football coach Ekkapol Chantawong (R), after hea
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"I wanted to see his dream realized ... but rest well now Dom," Kiatisuk Senamuang, a former coach whose foundation helped Promthep get a scholarship at the Brooke House College Football Academy, said in an Instagram post, according to Reuters.
The principal of the college, Ian Smith, said in a statement obtained by Sky News that ""We unite in grief with all of Dom's family, friends, former teammates and those involved in all parts of his life, as well as everyone affected in any way by this loss in Thailand and throughout the college's global family."
Former teammates who were rescued with Promthep in the cave also are paying tribute.
"You told me to wait and see you play for the national team, I always believe that you would do it," Prachak Sutham was quoted by the BBC as saying.
"Brother, you told me that we would be achieving our football dream... if the next world is real, I want us to play football together again, my brother Dom," reportedly added Titan Chanin Viboonrungruang.
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Fox News' Stephanie Giang-Paunon and Larry Fink contributed to this report.