Asphyxia caused death of goalkeeper aged just 24, coroner is told

An inquest has been opened into the death of a 24-year-old goalkeeper found dead at his home.

Dale Roberts, 24, was found dead at his home in Higham Ferrers, Rushden, Northamptonshire on Tuesday.

An inquest into his death was opened and adjourned yesterday by Northamptonshire deputy coroner Rodney Haig at Kettering Magistrates' Court yesterday, police said.

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A spokeswoman said the cause of death was given as asphyxia.

Northamptonshire Police previously said the Rushden and Diamonds goalkeeper's death was not being treated as suspicious.

On Wednesday, his fiance and parents spoke of their devastation.

Fiance Lindsey Cowan described the 24-year-old as "my childhood sweetheart and the love of my life".

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In a separate statement, the footballer's parents, Isabelle and George Roberts, said Lindsey and the England-C goalkeeper 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," they said.

In her statement, Miss Cowan went on to say: "We had been together since a young age and I will never get over his death.

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"I can only ask the media to allow me to grieve peacefully and leave me alone at this very, very difficult time."

Rushden and Diamonds' FA Trophy replay against Eastwood Town earlier this week was postponed in the wake of the tragedy.

Today's Football Conference clash against Eastbourne Borough has also been called off.