Irish footballer in coma after San Francisco clash

Mark McGovern remains in a coma with serious head injuries

A leading GAA player is in a critical condition in a San Francisco hospital after an off the ball incident in his first match on American soil.

Mark McGovern, a 22-year-old member of the  Fermanagh senior county team, was rushed to hospital on Saturday night.

He was injured in a clash with an opposition player during his debut for the Ulster GAA club in San Francisco.

Mark’s parents have travelled to the States and are holding a bedside vigil as he remains in critical condition with a head injury. Latest reports say he has improved slightly.

A statement from his Belcoo O’Rahilly club in Fermanagh said: “Mark suffered a severe head injury during his debut for Ulster GAA San Francisco on Saturday night and he has been in a coma since.

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“Two other Belcoo Club players who recently made the journey to America to play football for the summer, Emmet Scollan and Ciaran Flaherty were playing the same game and they have been at Mark’s bedside since.

“Messages of support have been overwhelming but we would like to keep the three lads in our prayers and we hope Mark comes around shortly and he can make a full recovery.”

The Irish Times reports that McGovern is understood to have clashed with another player on the opposing Celts side.

McGovern had travelled to America to play football for the summer with Scollan and Flaherty, two of his team-mates from the Fermanagh club.

The promising player had lined out for Fermanagh in this year’s Dr McKenna Cup competition.

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