Miguel van Damme, 28, has tragically passed away following a lengthy and brave battle with Leukaemia.
Van Damme leaves behind his wife and young daughter. He was first diagnosed with the illness while receiving a routine medical check-up ahead of the 2016/17 season. The goalkeeper fought the illness on and off over a period of five-and-a-half years.
In what was a heart-breaking update, Van Damme told fans in September 2020 that having fought and beat the illness twice before – it had returned for a third time and this time it had been deemed incurable. His death was confirmed by wife Kyana Dobbelaere on Instagram.
Kyana wrote: “Our dearest darling, daddy left for his last match last night, a match that can no longer be won. You left us very slowly, yet you did it again in your own way… very strong. You fought like a lion We are so thankful for who you were.
“You have made me realize that there is no such thing as giving up, even if there was only that one small glimmer of success, time and again you got over it. Rest now darling you have more than earned it, you are now freed from all pain. We would love to see you. Big hug from your two girls. See you later. “
According to Belgian outlet Sporza, Van Damme received the tragic news that his cancer was incurable just two days after being told he was going to become a father. Miguel and Kyana welcomed daughter Camille in May 2021.
The goalkeeper’s club side Cercle Brugge have also released a statement in light of his passing. The post read: “It is with great sadness that we report that our friend and teammate Miguel Van Damme has fought his long and unfair battle against Leukaemia.
“Words are not enough to describe what we feel, even though we knew that things had not gone well for a while. Today is an extremely difficult day in the almost 123-year history of Cercle Brugge.
“Our thoughts go in the first place to his wife Kyana, his daughter Camille, Miguel’s parents, his sister Francesca but also to his many friends and family. Miguel, your perseverance and strength to go for it (again) over and over, setback after setback, was admirable.
“You are an example of positivism, persistence and fighting spirit. A source of inspiration for everyone who fights. Forever in our green-black heart, # 16.”