Teenage Central Newcastle frontrower Joel Dark has tragically passed away in John Hunter Hospital on Friday morning, five days after suffering a seizure on the field following a head-knock.
Hunter New England Health issued a statement on Friday afternoon confirming the news.
"We extend our sincere condolences to his family. His family are thankful for the support they have received from the local community over the past few days, and have asked for privacy at this difficult time." the statement read.
The former Newcastle Knights junior from Old Bar on the Mid-North Coast is understood to have been surrounded by family when he passed.
He had undergone multiple surgeries to relieve pressure on his brain after being rushed to hospital after collapsing during the second half of the Central Newcastle-Western Suburbs game at St John Oval on Sunday.
The 19-year-old was making his first grade debut in front of family and friends and had been presented with his jersey by his dad on Fathers' Day prior to running out.
Dark collapsed mid-way through the second half of the game that was ultimately abandoned, just moments after suffering a head knock in a tackle.
Several people, including teammate and firefighter Brad Russell, rushed to his aid to provide support before at least five ambulances arrived on the scene.
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Dark's cousin, Sydney Roosters captain Boyd Cordner, was granted permission earlier this week to leave the NRL club bubble to visit the teenager and spend time with family.
A Go Fund Me page had been set up for Dark and his family.
Both Central and Wests clubs have held counselling sessions over the past week for players, officials and supporters.
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