John Fleck’s on-pitch collapse playing for Sheffield United last week was not connected with the Covid vaccine as scientists continue to denounce the anti-vaxers for suggesting a link.
Fleck, 30, was rushed to hospital after requiring medical treatment and being carried off on a stretcher during a Championship game against Reading.
The Scot’s collapse was the latest in a string of several similar incidents in football leading to conspiracy theories about players responding badly to Covid vaccines.
Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck was rushed to hospital on Tuesday night (above)
But those suggestions have been branded 'irresponsible' by experts who insist it is impossible to make any connection without any evidence.
And Sheffield United were quick to point out that Fleck had a separate medical issue which led to his seizure. A source close to the player said: ‘John Fleck’s issue was not vaccination related.’
There have been more than a dozen players collapse over recent months including Christian Eriksen, Sergio Aguero and Wigan striker Charlie Wyke, with many being attributed to underlying or unknown heart conditions.
Fleck collapsed during Sheffield United's Championship fixture with Reading (above)
Fleck received 10 minutes of urgent medical treatment on the pitch before going to hospital
But speaking after Fleck’s collapse, radio pundit and ex-England winger Trevor Sinclair hinted there could be a link to the Covid jab, while Matt Le Tissier, a firm advocate of patient choice over the vaccine, also demanded in a tweet that Fifpro, football’s world governing body, look into it.
Many scientists have angrily rejected the high-profile opposition to the vaccines especially as the country braces itself for a possible wave of more cases and deaths from Covid after the discovery of the Omicron variant.
‘It is totally irresponsible to make these unsubstantiated comments,’ said Professor Keith Neal from Nottingham University.
Professor Guido Pieles, a sports cardiologist at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health, added: ‘At present I would say this is still a coincidence. I don’t think we can say this is suddenly increasing.’
Former England star Trevor Sinclair has been blasted for spreading 'dangerous nonsense' after questioning whether Fleck's on-pitch collapse was due to the Covid vaccine
He sparked outrage by questioning the vaccine status of Championship star Fleck. Sinclair (right) was appearing on TalkSport at the time with Jim White (centre) and Simon Jordan (left)