Great Britain

Grieving ex-footie ace Chris Barker hanged himself on New Year’s Day – after losing both parents

'UNTIMELY AND TRAGIC'

A RETIRED professional footballer was found hanged on New Year's Day after losing both parents, an inquest heard.

Former Cardiff defender Chris Barker, 39, left notes before taking his own life in the garage of his home in the city.

Sister-in-law Tracey Barker said Chris had been “affected greatly” by the death of his father, who had motor neurone disease, and his mother, who died of cancer.

His girlfriend Amy Holliday also recalled him “being distant”.

He had cancelled plans to meet.

But she had “never seen signs of depression” in him.

The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide at the hearing in Pontypridd, South Wales.

Sheffield-born Chris also played for Barnsley, Plymouth and Southend.

He retired in 2017.

World in Motion, the agency who represented Barker throughout his career, said his death was "untimely and tragic."

A spokesman added: "Chris was a client throughout his outstanding playing career of over 500 League games for clubs."

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