News, Culture & Society

Former Brisbane Roar A-League striker and Japanese international dead at just 32

Former Brisbane Roar A-League striker and Japanese international dead at just 32 after complications from brain surgery while playing in J.League

Former Brisbane Roar A-League star and Japan striker Masato Kudo has died aged 32.

The 32-year-old had been playing for third-division football club J.League Tegevajaro Miyazaki but was hospitalised earlier this month after being diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluids within the brain.

He had surgery for the condition on October 11, but it deteriorated and he was moved into intensive care. He died on Friday from complications form the surgery.

The striker made 14 appearances for the Roar in the 2020-21 A-League Men season, scoring one goal.

‘I like everyone else at Brisbane Roar I am deeply saddened by the news overnight that our former teammate, player and friend Masato Kudo has passed away,’ Roar coach Warren Moon said in a statement.

‘He had such a wonderful personality and always turned up to training every morning with a beaming smile on his face.

‘He will be greatly missed, and our hearts go out to his wife and young daughter at this sad time.’

The Roar confirmed they would be wearing black armbands to honour Kudo in Saturday’s game against Western Sydney Wanderers.

Kudo made four senior appearances for Japan, scoring two goals.

‘From his achievements in the J1 to being selected for the Samurai Blue, Kudo was an incredibly accomplished player,’ Tegevajaro President Keita Nimura said. 

‘But in spite of that he was never arrogant and cherished his teammates, the club and our supporters.

‘He personified our club slogan, ‘shinshi’ [sincere]. For that sort of player to leave us so soon is sad and unfortunate.’

Along with his ALM stint, Kudo spent 2016 in the MLS with Vancouver Whitecaps but otherwise spent the majority of his career in Japan.

Kudo started at Kashiwa Reysol and also had stints at Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Renofa Yamaguchi, while he most recently played for third-tier outfit Tegevajaro Miyazaki.

‘I am speechless at this news,’ J. League Chairman Yoshikazu Nonomura wrote in a statement. 

‘This is a shocking and saddening time for everyone at his previous clubs and the entire soccer community.’ 

Kudo leaves behind his wife of eight years and three-year-old daughter.