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No suspicious circumstances in former world judo champion’s death, coroner told

Father-of-one Craig Fallon was discovered in woodland near the Wrekin and pronounced dead at the scene.

Craig Fallon (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Craig Fallon (Gareth Fuller/PA)

An inquest into the death of the British former world judo champion Craig Fallon has heard there were no suspicious circumstances.

The body of the 36-year-old judoka was discovered in woodland near the Wrekin on July 15, Shropshire Coroner’s Court heard.

At an inquest opening on Tuesday, the senior coroner heard judo coach Mr Fallon, of Lawley Bank in Telford, was discovered in the early hours of the morning.

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Craig Fallon at the Beijing Olympics (Gareth Copley/PA)

He was found in woods near Wrekin camp site off Spout Lane, about three miles from his home.

Coroner’s officer Julie Hartridge told the brief hearing: “Police were in attendance and were satisfied that there were no suspicious circumstances.

“At 5.24am, Mr Fallon was confirmed as deceased.”

The inquest heard he was later formally identified by his mother at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Senior coroner for Shropshire John Ellery adjourned proceedings, with a full inquest to be held on October 30.

Mr Fallon – who won the -60kg title at the World Championships in 2005 and the European title the following year – was found dead less than five months after becoming head coach of the Welsh Judo Association (WJA).

He remains the last British judo fighter to win a world title, following his win in Cairo.

Mr Fallon, who had a partner and a son, is also one of only two British men – alongside Neil Adams – to hold the world and European titles at the same time.

The 2002 England Commonwealth Games champion went on to represent Great Britain at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, placing seventh.

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Craig Fallon during his win over Monaco’s Yann Siccardi at the 2008 Olympic Games (Gareth Copley/PA)

Ipswich-born Mr Fallon retired from the sport in 2011.

After spending some time in Austria, he was appointed as head coach of the WJA in March.

Immediately following news of the death last week, British Judo performance director Nigel Donohue paid tribute to the “outstanding judo fighter of his generation”.

He said: “It is with great shock to hear of the passing of Craig.

“Craig is a son and father, as well as an outstanding judo fighter of his generation in world judo.”

He praised Mr Fallon as a “fantastic ambassador” for the sport and “the most talented judoka I have ever had the pleasure to watch competing for Great Britain”.

“He will be greatly missed by his family and the judo world, which has lost a talented athlete and coach.”

Chief executive of the WJA Darren Warner said: “Our heartfelt sympathies are with his family during this difficult time.

“He was only with the organisation for a short time but was a joy to work with and will be sorely missed.”

PA

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