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Ex-NRL player Purtell has heart attack in London


Ian Laybourn

Bradford is closely monitoring centre Adrian Purtell after the former NRL player suffered a heart attack, his second health scare in five years.

Fran Purtell told southern NSW newspaper The Border Mail that her son suffered a heart attack just hours after playing for the Bulls in their derby loss to Leeds, which was played in sweltering conditions at Manchester's Etihad Stadium on Monday.

The 27-year-old Purtell, who fell ill on the team bus on the way back from Manchester, was taken to Leeds General Infirmary, where he will spend the rest of the week recovering.

Bradford coach Mick Potter visited the player in hospital yesterday.

Purtell is in his first season in Super League, having joined the Bulls on a three-year deal from the Penrith Panthers last November.

Bradford football manager Stuart Duffy said the Bulls were unable to confirm the exact nature of Purtell's illness due to patient confidentiality but the player's mother said her son had suffered a heart attack.

''He had a blockage to one of the main arteries to the heart but he's OK,'' she told The Border Mail before boarding a flight to Manchester to be at his bedside.

''He's in Leeds hospital and is in good care. It was very frightening this morning for everyone.''

Purtell, who started his professional career at Canberra in 2006, missed a large chunk of the following season due to deep vein thrombosis, after a blood clot was found in his lungs, and his mother said he had been feeling unwell for some time.

''He knew something was wrong,'' she said. ''He said he had a sore chest a few weeks ago and was keeping an eye on it. He knew that something was amiss.

''It was hurting on the bus like it had been. The news for now is that he's OK. His heart didn't stop beating at that stage.'' AAP

Four Nations 2014

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