Paul Quinn, aged 22, was knocked unconscious when he collided with a fellow player in Navan on Wednesday night.
He died from his injuries in hospital early yesterday morning.
The freak accident happened when the defender, who played for Navan Cosmos, went to head the ball and hit his head on the knee of another player.
He collapsed and failed to regain consciousness.
His parents, Pat and Theresa Quinn, from Navan, flew home early from a holiday in Portugal to be with their son.
They remained at his bedside in Our Lady’s General Hospital, Navan, along with Paul’s brother, Stephen, 20, who had been playing in the same match.
Mr Quinn recently qualified as an architect.
The football community was in shock following the accident, which was said to have happened about halfway through the second half of the match against visiting team Skryne/Tara.
First aid staff at the Meath District League grounds on the Trim Road, Navan, tried in vain to resuscitate Mr Quinn. He was taken to hospital by ambulance and the game was immediately called off.
Tributes to the talented footballer said he would be sadly missed in the club and throughout the league.
“We are all very sad,” said Eamonn Kelly, secretary of Navan Cosmos.
“Paul was obviously a young man with everything going for him.
“He just graduated and was starting out in his new career. He was a fine footballer and looking forward to the season ahead. His life was cut short by a freak accident.”
Mr Kelly said there was major despair throughout the football community.
“It’s an horrendous tragedy,” he continued. “The players and officials and everyone associated with the club offers their heartfelt sympathy to his family for what happened. Everyone is devastated.”