Young footballer's life 'crushed' after Spurs dream was dashed

A 26-year-old man whose dream of a career in football was dashed committed suicide on a railway line, an inquest heard.
jpco-20-3-13 Josh Lyons in action for Crawley V Arsenal (Pic by Jon Rigby)jpco-20-3-13 Josh Lyons in action for Crawley V Arsenal (Pic by Jon Rigby)
jpco-20-3-13 Josh Lyons in action for Crawley V Arsenal (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Joshua Keir Lyons, known as Josh, of West Green, was hit by a train between Ifield and Crawley on March 8 2013.

At an inquest into his death in Horsham on Wednesday (October 23) assistant deputy coroner Dr Karen Henderson ruled Josh had taken his own life.

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A statement from Josh’s father William Lyons was read to the inquest stating Josh had played for Tottenham Hotspur at youth level for three years.

The statement said leaving the club caused a ‘massive’ blow to Josh’s confidence, he became depressed and was prescribed anti-depressants and treated by a cognitive behaviour therapist.

Josh tried to stop taking medication as his health and fitness were very important to him.

The inquest heard Josh lost confidence in his mental health team and turned to rigorous healthy eating and exercise but ended up in hospital after overdosing on vitamins and minerals.

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His parents found him a mental health centre in Bournemouth shortly before his death.

Dr Henderson concluded thatTottenham letting Josh go had a huge impact on his life. She said: “I find that it was that pivotal point that crushed this young man’s life and all that goes with it.

“I find that it’s the single most important factor. To build up hopes of a young man and for them to be dashed at a critical age.”

She added: “To have no support for that letting go seems to be adding cruelty upon cruelty.

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“Josh’s family were desperate for him to engage to seek help. Help was offered but he did not think the help was going to work. He chose not to engage.”

Mr Lyons’ statement added: “We feel we as a family were let down by the health care professionals. Our only hope now is that no other family has to go through this awful, devastating, tragic experience.”

Josh’s dad William Lyons learned of his son’s death when he took his dog for a walk and saw emergency service vehicles.

Half an hour earlier, Josh had told his family he was going for a run.

In his statement, Mr Lyons said he had “a bad feeling”. He drove to the railway crossing where he described Josh’s tattoos to a police officer. The officer confirmed it was him.

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