9:30am Saturday 18th December 2010
AN inquest was opened yesterday into the death of a 24- year-old goalkeeper from the North-East who was found dead at his home.
The body of Dale Roberts, who played for non-league Rushden and Diamonds, was discovered on Tuesday morning at his house in Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire.
Mr Roberts, originally from Horden, County Durham, had been due to play in his team’s FA Trophy match against Eastwood Town that night and the game was cancelled in the wake of the tragedy.
The inquest was opened and adjourned by Northamptonshire deputy coroner Rodney Haig at Kettering Magistrates’ Court yesterday morning, police said.
A spokeswoman said the cause of death was given as asphyxia. Northamptonshire Police previously said the goalkeeper’s death was not being treated as suspicious.
Earlier this week, his fiancee and parents spoke of their devastation.
Fiancee Lindsey Cowan described him as ‘‘my childhood sweetheart’’.
In a separate statement, the footballer’s parents, Isabelle and George Roberts, said Miss Cowan and their son had been very happy together.
Mr and Mrs Roberts added: ‘‘We are grieving for our wonderful son, Dale. We are devastated by his death and we would ask the media to allow us to grieve in private.’’ In her statement, Miss Cowan, 25, said: ‘‘We had been together since a young age, and I will never get over his death.
‘‘I can only ask the media to allow me to grieve peacefully and leave me alone at this very, very difficult time.’’ The England C goalkeeper played for Sunderland and Middlesbrough’s youth teams before moving to Nottingham Forest and joined Rushden and Diamonds permanently last January following two successful loan spells.
Mr Roberts was left devastated earlier this year by an affair between Miss Cowan and his then team-mate, Paul Terry, brother of England and Chelsea star John Terry.
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