Football fan took his own life hours after telling a therapist he’d attempted suicide as coroner slams lack of care


A football fan took his own life just hours after telling a therapist he’d attempted suicide. Sam Spooner, 20, told his counsellor he had tried to take his own life but he was not taken to hospital because he reassured her and his mother that he planned to play football with friends.

The inquest heard that counsellor Carla Cowling was reluctant to let him leave the office, and even wrote a letter to his GP expressing her concerns. 

A day later, he was found unconscious in his bedroom by his stepfather at home in the village of Wistaton, Cheshire. He died later in hospital.

Coroner Peter Sigee slammed the ‘failure to intervene’ and said there were ‘missed opportunities’ to help Mr Spooner.

His mother, Jude Rouse, said in a statement: ‘I’ve never got over his untimely death. I want to express my feelings of helplessness that there is not enough help for the parents or careers.

‘I wanted help when Sam was alive and struggling. I keep thinking of those words that he had fire in his belly and he still found enjoyment from football. It was almost like his last farewell.

‘The biggest feeling I have is that I let him down all way through his mental health problems.’

An inquest in Crewe heard that Mr Spooner, who was described by his family as an ‘entertainer’, had been battling depression following the death of his father when he was just 15.

He was given an inheritance and spent it on a new car but he ‘did not feel the need’ to work and struggled to hold down jobs after doing his A Levels at a local high school.

Mrs Rouse, said: ‘Sam’s friends had gone up to university and he felt he was missing out on a lot of the fun they were having like he had under-achieved and felt inadequate.’

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