Manchester City star Adam Johnson feared for pal who committed suicide after rumours of girlfriend’s alleged affair with John Terry’s brother — (Manchester Evening News)

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Manchester Evening News

18 Nov 2011 09:55  

The Blues winger told an inquest that Dale Roberts was upset following unsubstantiated rumours about his fiancee sleeping with Paul Terry, the brother of England player John Terry. England C goalkeeper Mr Roberts was also nervous about returning to the pitch after months of feeling lethargic as he was recovering from a leg injury, he said.

City star Adam Johnson has told how a footballer pal struggled to deal with the embarrassment of his girlfriend’s alleged affair in the days before he was found hanged.

The Blues winger told an inquest that Dale Roberts was upset following unsubstantiated rumours about his fiancee sleeping with Paul Terry, the brother of England player John Terry.

England C goalkeeper Mr Roberts was also nervous about returning to the pitch after months of feeling lethargic as he was recovering from a leg injury, he said.

The 24-year-old Rushden and Diamonds player was found hanged at his home in Rushden, Northamptonshire, on December 14 last year. The inquest at Northampton Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Roberts had introduced his fiancee, Lindsey Cowan, to Paul Terry and he would occasionally sleep over on the couch at the flat they shared.

They had been good friends before rumours about the alleged infidelity emerged and Terry was subsequently transferred to Darlington, the inquest was told.

Johnson said of Mr Roberts, who he first met at school: “I’m not sure he could deal with the embarrassment the story caused him. There’s no way Dale would have gone to the press, no matter how upset he was.”

Mr Roberts and Miss Cowan, who had been together for six years and got engaged in 2009, split for a time but eventually reconciled, the inquest heard.

Johnson added: “I think Dale and Lindsey had a real love-hate relationship and I was worried he would not be able to be with anybody else.”

Mr Roberts’ mother Isabelle said her son told her he did not feel he could even go to the supermarket because he was worried about the reaction from the public. The inquest heard that Mr Roberts had been prescribed anti-depressants after feeling down and missing training sessions.

Wiping away tears, Miss Cowan told the inquest she came home on the evening of her fiancee’s death to find a message from Mr Roberts written on the whiteboard in their kitchen. It said: “I love Lindsey Elizabeth Cowan very very much she is the love of my life.”

Returning a verdict of suicide, Coroner Anne Pember said: “From the evidence I’ve heard and the mode of his death, I believe that, at a time when he was feeling low and depressed, he no longer wished to live.”

Speaking after the inquest, Mrs Roberts stood with her arm around Miss Cowan. With her husband George beside her, a statement was read on their behalf. It said: “We wish to thank everyone for their help, support and kindness over the past year. It’s been a difficult time for everyone concerned but the love and support we’ve been shown has helped us during this difficult time.”