Family tribute to former Cobbler after mental health problems

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A FORMER Cobblers player killed himself following a battle with mental health problems, an inquest heard.

Brian Etheridge, aged 67, from Moulton, joined Northampton Town at 18 years old and helped them in their rise to Division One.

The retired businessman hanged himself at his home on March 26.

He had previously been admitted to Berrywood Hospital after attempting to take his own life, where he was treated for depression.

Dr Mohan Bonthala, a consultant psychiatrist who treated Mr Etheridge at Berrywood Hospital, said his patient had shown signs of improvement.

He said: “He was always very smartly dressed and an angel on the ward.

“He was very friendly and would help everyone, he would never leave the hospital without asking first.

“He described previous attempts on his life as ‘blips’ and that he had no intention of killing himself.

“There were no grounds to detain him and me and the family agreed it was not right to put him in a residential home, especially because he looked so much younger than his chronological years.”

Pauline Etheridge said her husband had seemed fine in the days leading to his death.

She said: “We loved him and supported him, everyone was wonderful.

“There were times when we knew we weren’t getting through to him.

“He was such a super man; I want everyone to forget the awful ending and remember the value of such a remarkable man.”

His footballing career also included winning a number of youth caps for England and playing in the European Cup for Belgium side Cercle Brugge.

After retiring from football he went on to be a successful businessman.

Coroner Anne Pember recorded a narrative verdict. She said: “He suffered from depression and made several attempts on his life.

“I think he made a decision when he was feeling low and unhappy that he no longer wished to live and killed himself while the balance of his mind was unstable.”