Sunshine Coast Falcons prop James Ackerman has died in hospital, after he was injured in a tackle last Saturday.
He had been in a critical but stable condition on Monday morning, but the Queensland Rugby League (QRL) confirmed his death this afternoon.
25-year-old Ackerman was playing against the Norths Devils at Bishop Park when he was injured four minutes into the game. Doctors worked on him for forty minutes on the ground before he was transported to hospital. The game was called off.
In a statement, his family said:
“We want to thank the tireless medical staff from Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital who kept us informed during the night. We are very grateful to the doctors and nurses from the hospital.”
“All his former teammates and his former clubs for coming and seeing James. Your support has been overwhelming during this difficult time.”
“James loved the game of rugby league, he always played the game with his heart on his sleeve. We will miss you.”
Tributes are flowing in thick and fast for Ackerman, who leaves behind his parents, his two brothers, his wife Saraa, and his children Olliver and Milly.
There will be a minute’s silence at #NRLDragonsRoosters and the players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect for James Ackerman.
— NRL (@NRL) June 22, 2015
Rest in peace James Ackerman. Gone too soon, playing the game you love. Thoughts are with your loved ones…
— Beau Ryan (@therealbeauryan) June 22, 2015
First Phillip Hughes & now James Ackerman. Sport isn’t meant to be like this. Terrible accidents to young men doing what they love #RIP
— Quentin Hull (@QuentinHull) June 22, 2015
We send our deepest condolences to the friends and family of James Ackerman, who sadly passed away today.
— Sydney Roosters (@sydneyroosters) June 22, 2015
Vale Queensland Cup player James Ackerman. Thoughts and prayers with his family and friends.
— NQ Cowboys (@nthqldcowboys) June 22, 2015
— Penrith Panthers (@PenrithPanthers) June 22, 2015
QLD managing director Robert Moore said:
“We send our deepest condolences to James’ family and friends, and the Sunshine Coast club. This is obviously a very difficult and traumatic time for a considerable amount of people – and we ask for the privacy of the family to be respected. Our immediate priority is to provide support for the family as well as the players, coaches and referees who were involved in this game.”