Tigers’ fan died in fall

Michael Hancock died after accidentally falling down the stairs
Michael Hancock died after accidentally falling down the stairs

A CASTLEFORD Tigers’ fan died after falling down the stairs in a tragic accident, an inquest heard.

Michael Hancock, 57, fell at his home in Altofts and hit his head against a radiator after a day out watching a rugby match with his friends and family last November.

An inquest into his death, held at Wakefield Coroner’s Court last week, heard that Mr Hancock had been diagnosed with Ménière’s disease, a balance disorder, in 1998, which may have caused him to fall.

Coroner’s officer Jayne Melrose told the hearing he had returned to Altofts after the Rugby League Four Nations final in Leeds to drink at Lee Brigg WMC.

He went back to the family home on Croft Avenue at around 11.30pm on November 19.

Mr Hancock’s wife, Gillian, was upstairs when she heard a loud noise.

Mrs Melrose said: “She ran to the top of the stairs and saw Mr Hancock at the foot of the stairs. She shouted for him to get up but he didn’t move.”

Paramedics were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead just after midnight on November 20.

Deputy coroner Melanie Williamson recorded a verdict of accidental death as a result of extensive skull fractures.

She said: “The aren’t any suspicious circumstances to the death at all. But the fact that Mr Hancock suffered from Ménière’s disease, couple with his alcohol intake, did give rise to him falling down the stairs.”

Mr and Mrs Hancock were childhood sweethearts who had been married for more than 36 years and had two children and two grandchildren. Last year they renewed their vows at Altofts Methodist Church.

Mrs Hancock 54, said: “He’s really, really missed. He was a very intelligent man who loved his family. He loved his kids and his grandchildren.”

Mr Hancock’s funeral was held at the same venue where more than 400 people gathered to pay their respects.

His son, Keiron Hancock, 33, said: “He wasn’t just my dad, he was my best friend. He loved Castleford Tigers. He was the first person to be buried in a Castleford Tigers’ coffin and many of the first team players turned up to the funeral.”