Yeovil captain was found dead in hotel room, inquest hears


Footballer Lee Collins was found hanging in his hotel room, an inquest has heard.

Mr Collins, who was captain of Yeovil Town FC, was discovered at the Lanes Hotel in West Coker, near Yeovil, on March 31.

An inquest into the 32-year-old’s death was opened and adjourned by Tony Williams, the senior coroner for Somerset, during a hearing in Taunton.

In a statement read to the court, coroner’s officer Ben Batley said Mr Collins, from Newport, Gwent, was confirmed dead at the hotel on March 31.

“Lee was a professional footballer with Yeovil Town Football Club,” Mr Batley said.

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“It was identified that when Lee did not attend for training on March 31 enquiries were made at the hotel where he was staying, and he was found in his room hanging.

“Also admitted into evidence was an interim post-mortem report from Dr Adams, pathologist at Yeovil District Hospital, confirming cause of death as 1a hanging – subject to blood analysis.

“The coroner resolved that it will be necessary for further statements and reports to be obtained in respect of the circumstances of Lee’s death and the inquest was adjourned to an internal case management review on or before July 7 2021.”

The defender began his career at Wolves and also had spells with Hereford, Port Vale, Barnsley, Shrewsbury, Northampton, Mansfield and Forest Green.

He moved to Vanarama National League club Yeovil Town from Forest Green in 2019 and made 35 league appearances for the Somerset club, including eight this campaign. His most recent outing came in a 1-0 defeat at Stockport on February 6.

Mansfield owner John Radford worked with Mr Collins between 2015 and 2017 and described him as a “battling braveheart” on the field and “gentleman” off it.

He played 163 games for Port Vale between July 2008, when he arrived initially on loan from Wolves, and June 2012.

Former Valiants team-mate Tom Pope said: “Lee was a tough, fit, excellent footballer. The enforcer for us, really. The organiser.

“He was the heartbeat of our dressing room. I am absolutely devastated and my heart goes out to Lee’s family, friends and team-mates at this time,” he told Vale’s website.

PA

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