Melaka's Petrovski dies in hospital one month after lightning strike

Tributes and messages of condolence have poured in for Marco Stefan Petrovski, the Australian-born Malaysian goalkeeper who died on Sunday at the age of 18 less than a month after being hit by lightning at a training session.

Petrovski was critically injured on April 5 when lightning struck a goalpost near where he and Melaka United teammate Muhd Afiq Azuan were standing.

The 21-year-old Afiq was released the following day after treatment but Petrovski never regained consciousness, despite showing initial signs of improvement.

He was reportedly suffering from a lack of oxygen and swelling on the brain before dying on Sunday afternoon at Malacca General Hospital. His parents Marjan Petrovski and Marie Lupang had travelled to Malaysia soon after the accident to be by his side.

"He was a dedicated goalkeeper and boasted that he wanted to be the best goalkeeper in the country," Melaka United vice president Khairi Anuar Ahmad told New Straits Times.

"He was very jovial, a good boy, liked by his teammates and always wanted to be better. He was like a son to me, I am saddened over his passing."

Football Federation of Australia was also saddened by Petrovski's death.

"On behalf of the Australian football community, FFA sends their deepest condolences to the Petrovski family, friends and teammates," the governing body said in a statement.

Petrovski joined Melaka United in January on a three-year deal after receiving Malaysian citizenship because of his Sabah-born mother. In his short time with the club, he had impressed coaches and officials at the Malaysian Premier League club's President's Cup team.

He played his junior football with the Sydney Olympic club, who also sent a message of condolence.

"Stefan was a promising young goalkeeper who had the world at his feet, having recently signed a professional three-year deal with Malaysian side Melaka United," Sydney Olympic said in a statement.

"The young custodian, who spent most of his childhood growing up in Forest Lodge located in Sydney's Inner West, was tragically struck by lightning in a freak accident in Malacca on April 5 during a training session.

"On behalf of the Football NSW community, Football NSW sends their deepest condolences to the Petrovski family, friends and teammates -- may he rest in heavenly peace."

In Petrovski's last competitive match in March, he turned in a memorable performance in making a number of crucial saves as Melaka United secured a 2-0 victory over Terengganu in the President's Cup.

"It was the first game in which he represented the team and he performed well," Khairi said