Teen footballer 'jumped' from balcony

The family of a young footballer is 'praying for a miracle' after he plunged to the ground from a second-storey hotel balcony in country South Australia.

Police say Ricky Elley, 19, from Port Augusta, jumped from the second floor of the Family nightclub in Port Pirie around 2am on Sunday.

"He fell through a shade cloth and onto the ground," an SA police spokesperson said.

Ricky was transferred to the Royal Adelaide Hospital with critical head injuries.

The tragic incident comes just a week after the death of Port Adelaide player John McCarthy who died after falling from a hotel roof in Las Vegas.

A public memorial will be held for McCarthy at Alberton Oval from 10.30am on Thursday. 

Central Augusta Football Club president John McAuliffe said he had spoken with Ricky's family.

“We are all waiting for a miracle and that is all we can hope and wish for at the moment," he said.

"He was good footy player and a good team player. We're all upset and just hoping for the best."

Port Pirie local Troy Harrison said he saw the incident from 'start to finish'.

“The atmosphere before the incident was a good night,” he said. 

'It's been a tough couple of days ... I’m an absolute train wreck at the moment."

Elley had played for Central Augusta in the Spencer Gulf Football League on Saturday. 

More than 400 people have “liked” a statement on Facebook from the Family Hotel offering its condolences.  

“Went to school with this lad years ago, devastating to hear this news,” posted Hamish Webb.  

 “Well done to the Family for handling this responsibly and respectfully,” posted Amanda Caputo.  

Port Pirie police would not make any further comment on Monday.

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