Police probe 'neknomination' death in Rumney
3:06pm Monday 10th February 2014 in News
POLICE investigating the fatal collapse of a 29-year-old are looking into whether a controversial drinking game played a part in his death.
Officers and paramedics were called to an address in Rumney, Cardiff, after receiving reports that a man had collapsed after taking part in the NekNominate game.
The craze involves participants filming themselves downing alcohol, nominating someone to continue the game, and posting the video on Facebook.
Participants are often dared to outdo the exploits of those who nominated them.
It is thought to have originated in Australia and has seen players consumng alcohol along with dog food, engine oil and live goldfish.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: "We are investigating the sudden death of a 29-year-old man from Rumney during the early hours of February 9.
"Officers investigating his death on behalf of HM Coroner have received information regarding the so-called neck and nominate game.
"Inquiries are continuing and a post-mortem is taking place."
Police and student groups in the UK and Ireland have warned people about the dangers of taking part in NekNominate amid fears that the game may have resulted in three deaths.
In Ireland, Jonny Byrne and Ross Cummings both lost their lives after apparently trying to complete their challenges.
Mr Byrne, 19, drowned after drinking a pint and jumping into the River Barrow in Carlow.
His brother Patrick later went on to Facebook to urge others to stop playing the game.
He said: "He thought he had to beat the competition and after he necked his pint he jumped into the river.
"If people have any decency and respect, they will refrain from any more of this stupid NekNomination."
Dublin DJ Ross Cummings, 22, died when he too reportedly carried out a NekNomination.
According to the Daily Mirror, the first UK victim of the game died at the weekend.
The paper's website reported that former grammar school boy and youth hostel worker Isaac Richardson, 20, drank a cocktail of wine, whisky, vodka and lager before collapsing and dying in the early hours of yesterday.
Anti-binge drinking campaign groups said they were saddened to hear of another death linked to NekNominate.
Alcohol Concern chief executive Eric Appleby said: " It is devastating for family and friends to lose someone in this way.
"This lethal 'game' shows just how hard we have to work to de-normalise binge-drinking among young people.
"But it's not just about young people. They take their cues from society's attitude to drinking and it's this we have to change for all our sakes."
Tributes have been paid to the dead man, who has been named locally as Stephen Brooks.
A dedicated Facebook page set up by friends described Mr Brooks - also known as Brooksy - as "one in million" and a "true friend".
Messages of condolence have been left on Twitter.
Friend Liam Kitchener expressed his shock by writing: "Madness how I only seen you 3 days ago."
And fellow site user Jack Stephens added: "Survives an axe in the head and dies over a poxy drink RIP Brooksy."