Abbots Langley dad died of head injury after all-day drinking session at Kings Langley FC away game

A Hertfordshire football team super-fan died of a head injury after consuming around 13 pints at an away game, an inquest heard.

Kings Langley FC supporter Matthew Allcock had followed his team to Weymouth, Dorset, where he suffered a fatal head injury in a local pub, reports DorsetLive.

The Abbots Langley family man was much loved, and the community as well as his beloved football club were devastated by his death in January 2019.

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Kind hearted tributes poured in for the 46-year-old heating engineer, including from Kings Langley FC who said he was “loved by everyone”.

An inquest jury concluded Mr Allcock, from Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, had consumed a “large quantity” of alcohol and died as a result of an accident.

Dorset Coroner’s Court heard he had been drinking for roughly 12 hours and blood samples found he was four times over the drink-drive limit when he died.

The inquest heard Mr Allcock had arrived at the The Sailors Return on St Nicholas Street, which had guest rooms upstairs, at around 12pm on January 19, 2019.

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He had three pints with two friends before leaving for the match against Weymouth FC.

It was said he then had a further three pints at the Bob Lucas Stadium before the match started.

He had a further beer during half-time, the inquest heard, and after the 2-2 draw Mr Allcock and a number of other supporters went back to the bar and had another two or three pints.

Mr Allcock then returned to the hotel bar with two friends where it is believed he had at least three pints and two spirit and mixers as he watched a live band.

Assistant coroner Richard Middleton said: “When we start looking at the CCTV footage it starts at 11.54pm.

“DC Sean Garratt, when he investigated the matter, said Mr Allcock and Stuart Waggatt can be seen “staggering and clearly intoxicated”.

“One of the bar staff describes them as ‘happy and jolly’.”

Mr Middleton said Mr Allcock can be seen carrying a glass to the stairs just before midnight.

The Sailors Return pub in Weymouth, Dorset
The Sailors Return pub in Weymouth, Dorset
(Image: Google Maps)

Around 15 seconds later after he was seen entering the stairwell, a glass rolled back out from the stairwell area and a staff member discovered Mr Allcock on the floor.

Mr Middleton said: “Mr Allcock is lying on his back, his legs and feet are upstairs, his head and left shoulder are behind the internal door and the internal door itself is ajar but seems to be wedged under Mr Allcock’s left armpit.”

The court heard paramedics arrived within 15 minutes and found Mr Allcock was in cardiac arrest.

He was taken to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester, but despite resuscitation attempts was pronounced dead just after 1am on January 20.

There was no evidence anyone saw or heard Mr Allcock fall down the stairs.

A pathologist gave Mr Allcock’s cause of death as a head injury and found evidence of a fractured skull bone and brain haemorrhaging.

An investigation was launched but police did not think the death was suspicious.

Mr Middleton said: “There was no suggestion from the scene that this was anything other than an accident where the injured party had fallen down the stairs.”

The jury concluded Mr Allcock died as a result of an accident and said: “The deceased, followed by a friend, entered a stairwell at
11.54pm in an intoxicated state following the consumption of a large quantity of alcohol.

“Within a short period of time, the deceased was found in an unconscious state at the base of the stairwell.

“Paramedics arrived at 12.08am and the deceased was taken to Dorset County Hospital, where CPR was administered until time of death was recorded at 1.10am

“The cause of death was later confirmed at postmortem to be due to a head injury.”

Kings Langley FC paid tribute to Mr Allcock who was a committee member and sponsor of the Southern League Premier Division South club.

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In a statement, the club said: “Matt was known and loved by everyone at the club. His ultimate passing, at the age of just 46, has been deeply felt by everyone at the club and the community beyond.

“Matt was an inspiration to us all with boundless enthusiasm in support of the club and he, more than anyone, has done so much to engender the spirit of togetherness and camaraderie that exists throughout the club today.

“Matt will forever be fondly remembered by so many within our community. He will be hugely missed by everyone’s life he touched.

“Rest assured that a permanent reminder will feature predominantly at Kings Langley Football Club in commemoration of Matt’s selfless devotion to our club.”

A JustGiving donation page was set up with £10,000 being raised to support Mr Allcock’s family.

One donor wrote: “All our love and support to Heidi & the girls at this sad time. The huge turnout for Matty’s funeral was a testament to the love & affection shown for such a wonderful guy. Xx.”

Another said: “Such a lovely bloke, always had time for everyone and was so friendly. Thoughts are with Heidi and the girls xxx.”

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