NRL star Boyd Cordner’s cousin, 21, rushed to hospital for emergency brain surgery 

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NRL star Boyd Cordner’s cousin, 21, collapses during a footy game and is rushed to hospital for emergency brain surgery

  • Joel Dark, 21, knocked his head during a football match in Newcastle on Sunday
  • He suffered a seizure and was taken to John Hunter for emergency brain surgery
  • At the time, the player was debuting for Central Newcastle against Nelson Bay 
  • He remains in a critical condition – the club is offering counselling to witnesses 

NRL star Boyd Cordner’s cousin is fighting for life after undergoing emergency brain surgery following a freak-accident during a football game.  

Joel Dark, 21, from Old Bar, on NSW’s mid-coast, knocked his head during a sporting match in Newcastle on Sunday, suffering a seizure shortly after and collapsing on the field. 

An ambulance rushed the athlete to nearby John Hunter Hospital to undergo surgery for a head injury. He remains in a critical condition, Triple M reports.

The young player was debuting for Central Newcastle in first grade against Nelson Bay at the time, with the game abandoned as a result of the incident. 

Joel Dark, 21, is fighting for life after undergoing emergency brain surgery following a head knock during a football match in Newcastle on Sunday

The NSWRL said in a statement the accident is believed to have occurred 15 minutes into the second half of the match.   

‘The NSWRL is investigating the incident and awaiting reports from match officials and medical authorities,’ it said. 

Family members who had travelled interstate for Dark’s first match with the witnessed the horror chain of events, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The club said Dark was in intensive care and ‘fighting hard’ in a statement via Facebook on Monday. 

‘Joel’s family is very appreciative of the support he’s received and we at the club are very humbled by all the well wishers for Joel and his family,’ it read. 

‘Out of respect for Joel’s family we won’t be making any further comments at the moment.. thank you again.

‘We sincerely appreciate all the support.’ 

Dark is the cousin of Sydney Rooster's captain Boyd Cordner. Cordneer is pictured with his partner TV morning-show producer Jemma Barge

Dark is the cousin of Sydney Rooster’s captain Boyd Cordner. Cordneer is pictured with his partner TV morning-show producer Jemma Barge

The club said the Newcastle Rugby League and Central Newcastle Butcher Boys will be providing a counselling session at Central Leagues Club at 6pm on Monday.

‘The invitation for this session is extended to anyone who has been affected by this, players, officials, coaching staff, volunteers, parents, family or anyone who was there yesterday and feel they need to talk,’ a later statement read. 

A mother commented that her son had performed CPR on the player until paramedics arrived.  

Corder, 28, is the Captain of the Sydney Roosters, making his NRL debut with the team in 2011.

Before Sunday’s match, Dark formerly played for Cordner’s old club Taree Old Bar. 

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