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Football Team Wins, Aussie Fan Dies in Twin Phuket Tragedies

Friday, April 27, 2012
PHUKET: An Australian man collapsed and died on Phuket within minutes of his team winning a big football game this week by the narrowest of possible margins.

His death was the second death of an Australian holidaymaker on Phuket within the space of 24 hours.

Police said that Michael Lester, 65, collapsed on Wednesday afternoon in the upmarket Phuket beach district of Surin and another Australian tourist administered mouth-to-mouth in an attempt to save him.

It is believed Mr Lester had a heart attack soon after watching his favorite Australian Rules team, Collingwood, win a game against traditional rivals Essendon by the narrowest of margins, one point.

Seconds earlier, Collingwood had been trailing and looked set to lose the exciting match until a player kicked a contentious six-point goal.

The piece of action, watched live by 87,000 people at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to mark the Anzac Day public holiday, was subjected to a video replay by the umpire to adjudicate whether the player's boot had actually touched the ball.

The huge crowd erupted when the video referee ruled in favor of Collingwood, perhaps the most famous and popular of Australia's AFL teams. Mr Lester's wife was with him at the time of his collapse.

The couple, from Melbourne, were staying at the Manathai Resort, Phuket and watched the match live on television at the Surin Bay Inn nearby.

Mr Lester's death followed the overnight death of a 34-year-old Australian man in his sleep at the Evason Phuket and Bon Island, a resort in Rawai, southern Phuket.

Officers from Chalong Police Station attended. The man's wife was with him on the holiday. It is believed he had a preexisting medical condition and there are no suspicious circumstances.

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