The captain of the boys’ soccer team that was rescued from a flooded Thai cave in 2018 has died in Britain.
Duangpetch “Dom” Promthep, 18, was attending the Brooke House College Football Academy in Leicestershire when he was found unconscious in his dorm on Sunday.
Promthep was driven to the Kettering General Hospital, where he later died on Tuesday.
Although the cause of his death has not been confirmed, reports in Thailand said he suffered a head injury.
Promthep was 13-years-old when he and 11 of his teammates were trapped in Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai province due to an unexpected rainstorm on June 23, 2018.
The 12 boys, who were aged between 11 and 16 years old at the time, were stranded along with their soccer coach Nopparat Kanthawong. The incident previously made international headlines, prompting thousands of volunteers to offer their assistance to Thai forces, including acclaimed British cave divers.
The successful mission saw all 13 members of the Wild Boars youth soccer team alive and rescued from the cave between July 8 and 10 the same year.
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The rescue has since inspired several movies, including “The Cave” (2019), “The Rescue” (2021), “Thirteen Lives” (2022) and a Netflix docuseries titled “Thai Cave Rescue” (2022). In August 2022, Promthep’s teammates celebrated their captain’s scholarship to the Brooke House College Football Academy in Market Harborough.
“Today, my dream has come true. I’m going to be a football student in England,” Promthep previously wrote in Thai in an Instagram post.
Following the news of his death, his former teammates recalled their memories with Promthep and expressed their sorrow.
“You told me to wait and see you play for the national team, I always believe that you would do it,” fellow survivor Prachak Sutham wrote. “When we met the last time before you left for England, I even jokingly told you that when you come back, I would have to ask for your autograph. Sleep well, my dear friend. We will always have 13 of us together.”
“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,” Titan Chanin Viboonrungruang said.
Zico Foundation, a Thai non-profit organization that helped Promthep win the scholarship to study in the U.K., also expressed their condolences in a Facebook post.
“Zico Foundation would like to express our sorrow for the passing of Dom Duangpet Phromthep, a scholarship student from Zico foundation.”Promthep’s mother shared the news of her son’s death with the Wat Doi Wao temple in Chiang Rai, according to BBC.
The temple, which was visited by the Wild Boars frequently, shared photos of the team with the monks in a Facebook post. Ian Smith, the principal of Brooke House College, said the college was “deeply saddened and shaken” by Promthep’s death.
“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.”