A caring and highly popular man who captained his rugby club took his own life, an inquest heard.
Tom Edwards, 29, was captain of Selby Rugby Union Club’s first team and was about to marry his fiancée, the inquest in Northallerton heard yesterday (Thursday).
Tom, who lived in Camblesforth, left the home he shared with partner Katie Welburn late on the night of 16 November, her birthday, ostensibly to visit a family member. He didn’t return.
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Ms Welburn called Tom’s brother-in-law Daniel Green saying she was worried about him and a missing-person’s report was passed to police just before midnight.
Mr Green and some of Tom’s friends went looking for him and found Tom’s Vauxhall Corsa van parked on a country lane at Barlow Woods, but couldn’t find him.
Eventually, Mr Green found him hanging from a tree in the woods near Camela Lane in the early hours of 17 November.
Attempts were made to resuscitate Tom, but paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
He had not left a note.
Ms Welburn said that she and Tom, who worked as a tree surgeon, were due to get married on New Year’s Eve, little over a month after Tom’s death.
She said Tom “wore his heart on his sleeve” and was “very caring and captain of the rugby club”.
He had recently returned from a stag trip to Prague and seemed “really happy”. On Ms Welburn’s birthday he sent her flowers and gave her a birthday cake. But he seemed “troubled” about the Prague trip.
Tom’s doctor at the Beech Tree surgery in Selby said the former rugby captain had no record of depression or self-harm.
Coroner Sarah Watson said she was sure that Tom had intended to take his own life and recorded a verdict of suicide.
She said she was “truly sorry” for Tom’s family’s loss and that she “couldn’t imagine their grief”.
She said that Tom and his fiancée were “looking forward to their happiest day” but it had turned into the “saddest” of times.
Following Tom’s death, Selby Rugby Union Club paid tribute to their former captain who was a “much-loved” teammate.