It was 2008. Mary Ellias and her husband were watching their 10-year-old son play soccer during his team’s big game in Pennsylvania. He was in the goalie position.
The crowd kept watching the soccer ball as Hayden blocked a shot and threw it down the field. Suddenly, a loud crash rang out across the field.
“When we looked down field, there he was under the goal,” Mary told WTAE News. “The goal had fallen over on him.”
His neck was broken. There was nothing doctors could do to save him. Mary watched on as he passed away, promising to save others from goals like the one that fell over on Hayden.
“I never, ever would have dreamed that there was a danger lying right there, every day. Just didn’t know it,” Mary said.
But Hayden is one of at least 39 people who have been killed since 1979 as a result of being crushed by goals. 57 others have been injured.
Soccer nets are light at the back but loaded with hundreds of pounds of metal at the front. And although they come with several warnings that they must be anchored, many venues choose not to, neglecting the safety of people who use their facilities.
The problem is a lot more widespread than you might think, as the video below shows.
Have a look at the video to hear Mary’s powerful message to all parents of children who play soccer.
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