Thailand’s Wild Boar football team pays tribute to captain “Dom” after his sudden death

Thailand’s Wild Boar football team is paying tribute to Duangpetch “Dom” Promthep, 17, who died suddenly in England.

As the captain of the 13 Wild Boars football team, “Dom” was rescued from the Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai back in 2018 after the cave flash-flooded leaving them trapped inside for 17 days.

According to Khaosod English, the Associated Press reported that “Dom” was found unconscious in his room at the Brooke House College Football Academy in Leicestershire last Sunday.

He was then taken to a hospital where he died on Tuesday, according to Thailand’s Zico Foundation. The school also confirmed his death.

“Note” Prachak Sutham, a team member wrote of his sadness after Dom’s death, along with others on Facebook.

“R.I.P., My Dear Friend, We, 13 people, have been through a lot together, both suffering and happiness. We have risked life and death and gone through all the hardships together. You said to wait and see when you join the national team. I always believed that you could do it.

“When we met last time before going to England, I still jokingly told you that I had to get your autograph back when I came back. Rest in peace, my friend. We will always be 13 people.”

“Coach Ek” Ekapol Chanthawong, the assistant coach of 13 Wild Boars also posted on Facebook.

“I waited all day, hoping for a miracle to happen. But there is no miracle. I hoped this news was fake. But it was not fake news like it used to be.

“You once told me that in two years I would be cheering you on as you played soccer for the national team. Then why didn’t you keep the promise?”

“How about plans to come back to play soccer with the team members and ride bicycles together again? Why don’t you keep your word? Rest in peace, my brother. You will always be on my mind.”

Dom’s school principal, Ian Smith, in England also wrote of his disbelief and sadness over his death.

“This event has left our college community deeply saddened and shaken. 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.”

Kiatisuk Senamuang, the head of the Zico Foundation, and the former Thai national team captain and coach said that he did not know the cause of Dom’s death and that he had apparently been in good health.

Dom’s mother says she hopes a Buddhist monk in England can conduct funeral rites for her son so his spirit would not be trapped where he died according to Buddhist beliefs.

The football team gained international recognition after being trapped inside a cave for 17 days after it suddenly flooded.

Over 10,000 officials and volunteers poured in from around the world to help the young football team out of the cave.

The Wild Boars’ survival story was covered heavily by international media and was retold in several movies, including Ron Howard’s 2022 feature film “Thirteen Lives” and the 2021 documentary “The Rescue.”

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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