Stricken goalkeeper ‘didn’t know where he was’ and was ‘knocked out for a while’ after sickening collision in Dutch league match – leaving horrified teammates in tears and forcing the game to be abandoned

Ajax Amsterdam’s Dutch league away game against RKC Waalwijk was abandoned in the 84th minute on Saturday after RKC goalkeeper Etienne Vaessen was ‘knocked out for a while’ and unable to ‘know where he was’.

Vaessen went down after a collision with Ajax forward Brian Brobbey, causing panicked reactions from his team mates as they frantically called for medical help.

‘Etienne was knocked out for a while,’ RKC director Frank van Mosselveld told broadcaster NOS about an hour after the incident.

‘Our medical staff started reanimation straightaway but it looks like it wasn’t a problem with his heart. He was conscious again when he left the field but he did not know where he was.’

Screens were put up around the goalkeeper to shield him from the public eye and players from both sides watched with tears in their eyes as a defibrillator was rushed on to the field.

Vaessen lay motionless on the field for minutes before he was carried away on a stretcher. Both teams went inside and after deliberations the game was called off.

His club have since released a statement confirming that the 28-year-old has been taken to hospital and is conscious.

The game between RKC Waalwijk and Ajax was abandoned after Etienne Vaessen was knocked out in a collision with Ajax player Brian Brobbey during an Eredivisie clash on Saturday 

Vaessen was left not knowing where he was and ‘knocked out for a while’, his club’s director said

The RKC Waalwijk players were left in tears following the distressing incident

Vaessen made his debut for RKC in 2016 and has made over 180 appearances for the club

In the club’s statement since that interview, they wrote on X: ‘Dear RKC members, We are extremely shocked by the incident on the field with our goalkeeper Etienne Vaessen. 

‘We can announce that, after extensive medical examination, he is conscious and has been transported to hospital for further examination. We wish Etienne a lot of strength and strength and hope to have him with us again soon.’

The official Ajax account, also wrote on the platform formerly known as Twitter: ‘The match has been temporarily halted due to an apparently serious medical situation. We are thinking of you, Etienne.

‘This is about more than football. Praying you’re okay, Etienne.’

RKC goalkeeper Mark Spenkelink was left distressed after the incident involving Vaessen

Players from both sides had tears in their eyes after the incident which saw Vaessen lying motionless on the field

In a touching moment, the stadium announcement that the match was permanently stopped was met with cheers and loud applause before the crowd began singing a rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ for the stricken keeper.

Ajax had been leading 3-2 when the game was suspended, with Steven Berghuis having put his side ahead.

Vaessen, 28, has spent his entire senior career at RKC Waalwijk having made his debut for the club in 2016. 

A subsequent statement from the club read: ‘We are extremely shocked by the incident on the field with our goalkeeper Etienne Vaessen.

‘We can announce that, after extensive medical examination, he is conscious and has been transported to hospital for further examination. We wish Etienne a lot of strength and strength and hope to have him with us again soon.’

Dutch fans piled in on social media with tributes to their injured goalie.

One posted: ‘Hopefully he makes a full recovery,’ as another wrote: ‘Football fans and the players around the world are praying for Etienne and his loved ones.’

A third added: ‘Good luck to all, especially Vaessen and family.’ A fourth said: ‘Lots of strength to you and everyone involved.’

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