A youth team football coach who was hailed for his work with youngsters was found hanged by his wife at their home, an inquest heard.
Father-of-two Darren Owen, who managed Stourbridge Football Club Under-11s, had recently been promoted to the role of senior operations manager with BT, the hearing in Walsall was told yesterday.
His wife of nine years, Rebecca Owen, told the inquest that her 36-year-old husband had become worried about work in the months leading up to his death on December 8.
She said she had rushed home from work after receiving a call from him saying: “I love you but I can’t do this anymore.”
Mr Owen, who also leaves behind his two sons, Luke and Joe, was found hanged from the loft space at their home in Thoresby Croft, Dudley. Speaking about her husband during the inquest, Mrs Owen said he was a ‘confident’ and ‘intelligent’ person.
“He always did his very best at whatever he put his mind to,” she said.
“He loved football. He enjoyed both football for his boys and for himself.”
She said he was committed to his job with BT and had progressed from apprentice to senior operation manager in 15 years.
Mrs Owen added: “He tended not to be a worrier. However, in the last six months prior to his death he did worry and he did question himself.” She said he had become concerned about what was expected of him in his new role after the recent promotion.
Mrs Owen said he started working from home a lot and felt he ‘did not know which way to turn’ to get support.
Jenny Davies, general manager at Openreach – part of the BT group – had given Mr Owen the promotion. She said she had been ‘extremely impressed’ by him and thought he had been fitting into the role very well. She said there had been no suggestions he was struggling to cope, and added: “I saw somebody who had a lot of potential for the future.”
Delivering the conclusion that Mr Owen killed himself, Senior Coroner Robin Balmain said: “There were clearly no suspicious circumstances.”
He said Mr Owen clearly had a busy and responsible job to do but it was not possible to say whether any stress caused by the new role had caused him to commit suicide.