Notts Forest owner died of natural causes says coroner

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Nottingham Forest owner Nigel Doughty died of natural causes, a coroner has ruled.

The 54-year-old father of four was found collapsed in the gym of his home in Park Lane, Skillington, Grantham, Lincolnshire, on the afternoon of February 4.

An earlier inquest was opened and adjourned for further tests after a post-mortem examination failed to provide a definitive cause of death.

Yesterday, Paul Smith, the assistant deputy coroner for Central Lincolnshire, recorded a verdict of death from natural causes.

Mr Doughty’s wife Lucy and daughter Helen were the inquest at Grantham Magistrates’ Court.

The coroner heard evidence from Colin Allerston, the coroner’s officer for Lincolnshire Police Authority.

Written statements from Doughty’s consulting physician Dr Peter Dorrinton, pathologist Dr Ian Scott and Dr Martin Goddard from Papworth Hospital in Cambridge were also read out.

The coroner heard that Doughty told family members he was going to work out in the gym in a separate annex at the property around noon on February 4.

His family had no concerns for his welfare as he was thought to be fit and well.

But Doughty, who saved Nottingham Forest from administration when he bought the club for £11m in 1999, was found “collapsed and lifeless” just over an hour later at 1.15pm.

Emergency services were called and paramedics attempted to resuscitate him but he was declared dead at the scene.

Yesterday the coroner heard Doughty, who was born in Park Village, east London, had had annual check-ups with Mr Dorrinton Ward since 1998.

His last full medical was in July 2011, the results of which were “very satisfactory”. He was deemed well and was on no medication. He was a non-smoker, a moderate drinker and exercised regularly, the inquest heard.

His blood pressure and cardiogram results were all normal.

Post-mortem tests carried out by Dr Scott and Dr Goddard concluded he had died after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest and that the cause of death was sudden adult death syndrome.

Recording a verdict of natural causes, Mr Smith said: “A post mortem carried out by Dr Ian Scott at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham on February 6 proved inconclusive and further inquiries conducted by Dr Martin Goddard concluded the cause of death to be sudden adult death syndrome.

“I am satisfied no suspicious circumstances surround this death. It was a case of a natural disturbance or process running its term. Nigel Edward Doughty died from natural causes.”

Following the verdict, solicitor Patricia Milner, speaking on behalf of the Doughty family, said: “Nigel’s sudden and unexpected death was a huge shock to his family and the past three months have been extremely painful.”