DUBAI // Jonathan Beeton, the UAE national team rugby player from South Africa who had been on life support since June, died Wednesday morning at a government hospital in Dubai.
“Jon passed peacefully at 6am,” Tammy Beeton, Jonathan’s wife, posted on Facebook, an hour after his death. “I will love you forever. Rest in Peace. You will forever be in my heart.”
Family and friends are making funeral arrangements and preparing a commemoration reception next week.
The 27-year-old star player and engineer had been on life support since a boating accident opposite the Mina Seyahi hotel on June 17. The couple, who tied the knot six months ago in Port Elizabeth, were attending a friend’s birthday party when Mr Beeton fell and hit his head and neck on a platform at the back of the boat.
“Jon, a devoted husband, cherished brother, beloved son, amazing friend and stoic rugby player, will be missed by all of those who knew him,” the family said.
Friends were helping Mrs Beeton, a primary school teacher, and the player’s family cope with their loss.
“She is being strong and so is his brother,” said Nathalie Jongma, a close friend of Mrs Beeton who was a bridesmaid at the couple’s wedding. “They are making the funeral arrangements. There will be a commemoration here in Dubai and in South Africa.”
Mike Cox-Hill, a teammate of Mr Beeton in both the Dubai Exiles Rugby Club and the UAE national team, said: “We want to ensure Tammy has all the support to rebuild her life. It is so tragic his life has been so short. The rugby community as a whole will miss him.”
Teammates remembered Mr Beeton for his “humility, kindness, courtesy and competitive nature”.
He was known as Studente since he first began playing for the Dubai Exiles, and a Facebook group has been set up in his honour.
The rugby club said that contributions of about Dh300,000 from fund-raising activities would go towards funeral expenses and supporting Mrs Beeton.
“Any remaining funds will be donated to a charity to be identified by the family in due course.”
The funeral and commemoration reception are expected to be held next Thursday at Christ Church Jebel Ali.