Captain of Thai soccer team rescued from a cave in 2018 dead at 18


Duangpetch Promthep introduces himself in a Chiang Rai conference in 2018. Photo from: REUTERS

Kate Oller, Staff Writer

Rewind back to 2018, when members of a Thai soccer team were stuck in the Tham Luan Nang Non cave in northern Thailand. These 12 members, from ages 11 to 16, were stuck in the cave for 18 days with their 25 year-old coach. 

The whole world witnessed the dangerous rescue of the team, who had been flooded in with no way out. Thai Navy SEALs and international divers took part in helping everyone out of the cave. Thankfully, they were successful and everyone was saved.

Now, five years later, one of the boys on the team was found dead in Britain, where he was attending a soccer academy. He was 18 years old.

The boy, Duangpetch Promthep, was captain for the junior Thai team. He was offered a scholarship to Brooke House College in central England, and he was ecstatic.

“Today my dream came true, I will focus and do my best,” Promthep had posted in August.

His death, however, wasn’t very clear. The news was spread by a Buddist monk who had taught the team back in Thailand on FaceBook. 

“Duangpetch Promthep has now gone to another world,” the monk wrote. “I hope he will be reborn and become my student again in the next life.”

The news of Promthep’s death was only fully confirmed once his grandma opened up about Promthep suffering from an accident after slipping on his head, and was in the hospital two days before his passing. 

Referencing the cave incident, fellow survivor and teammate Prachak Sutham said, “Sleep well..”