Tigers coach’s son – cocaine link to fatal heart attack

Castleford Tigers head coach Ian Millward
Castleford Tigers head coach Ian Millward

THE teenage son of Castleford Tigers coach Ian Millward died of a heart attack as a consequence of taking cocaine, an inquest has ruled.

Robbie Millward, 19, was found unconscious on a sofa by his mother Leanne at the family home in Leigh, Greater Manchester, shortly after noon on February 19.

Mrs Millward, a nurse, tried to resuscitate her son, but he died later in hospital. At an inquest in Bolton, deputy coroner Alan Walsh recorded a narrative verdict, saying: “Mr Millward died as a consequence of misuse of cocaine, exacerbated by a naturally occurring 
disease.”

Mrs Millward added she had no idea Robbie had used drugs and told the hearing: “I want to be able to stop somebody else doing this – every bit of that drug is harmful.”

A postmortem examination revealed Robbie had residual levels of cocaine in his blood and evidence of a chest infection. Consultant pathologist Dr Simon Survana said his heart had swelling and signs of inflammation that may have been caused by intermittent drug use.

The inquest heard that Robbie had been treated by his GP for a chest infection in the weeks before his death, but the illness had not kept him off work or stopped him socialising.

The night before his death he had gone out with a friend Joshua Gannon in Leigh between midnight and 4am, but had spoken to his mother on his return and showed no signs of illness.

Robbie’s friend Christopher Mayren told the hearing he had seen Robbie that night, and although he knew his friend had taken cocaine in the past, he was not a regular user and he was not aware he had taken any that night. Mr Gannon said he knew Robbie had taken a small amount of the drug two nights before he died.