Shock as Prapol dies after heart attack (04/02/2012)

Football coach Prapol Pongpanich died yesterday of a heart attack. He was 60.

"I am still shocked by his sudden death. He had a pain in his chest last night and he thought it was GERD [Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease]. I told him to see the doctor but he refused to go," said his wife Thipthida.

"This morning, I tried to wake him up but there was no response from him. I then called Thammasat hospital but it was too late as the doctor said he had passed away because of a heart attack."

Prapol guided the now-defunct Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) to the Thai Premier League title in 2008 and he once also helped Thailand's U23 side win the gold medal at the SEA Games. He returned to coach the SEA Games side at the 2011 Games in Indonesia but his men failed to get past the first round and he had since taken a break from coaching.

Former SEA Games team manager Kasem Jariyawatwong, who worked with Prapol in both SEA Games, said he last met him last Thursday to tell him that Rajapracha wanted him to coach the club.

"I told him that it would be good to see him back in football management," Kasem said.

"I am shocked by his sudden death."

Nighly prayers at Wat Phra Si Mahathat, Bang Khen are being held from today until Wednesday. The cremation rites are scheduled for 4pm on Thursday.