Young football ace, 18, died after night out

Niall Dearnaley
Niall Dearnaley

A teenage football player found dead in his bed by his mother may have suffered a reaction to his diabetes.

Eighteen-year-old Niall Dearnaley, a student at St Mary’s College in Astley, had been for a night out in Leigh beforehand, Bolton Coroner’s Court was told.

He arrived back at his home in Water View Park, at around 4am and briefly went to bed, an inquest heard.

But he was very careful about checking his blood sugar levels, which he is thought to have done with a monitor after talking with his brother Rory.

His brother returned from playing rugby and checked on him at around 11.30am but he appeared to be sleeping.

When his mother Sharon went to his room at 2.30pm she discovered him lying on the bed and unresponsive, the inquest heard.

Paramedics were called but Niall, who was diagnosed with Type One diabetes aged 13, could not be resuscitated.

In a statement Mrs Dearnaley said her son had texted her on a number of occasions over the course of the night to reassure her that he was fine.

The court heard he had drunk wine, some beers and vodka and Red Bull on the night in question but also had a takeaway meal before going home.

Dr David Barker, a consultant pathologist, said the cause of the teenager’s death, after a post-mortem examination and toxicology tests, remained un-ascertained.

Dr Jonathan Robinson, a consultant paediatrician and diabetes specialist at Wigan Infirmary said the two most at-risk groups for hypoglycemic attacks, when blood sugar levels fall dangerously low, were the under-fives and teenagers who had been drinking.

He told the hearing drinking patterns may have an effect as young people now, instead of going out around 7pm and returning at midnight, would go out later and come back around 4am or 5am.

This would result, in the case of diabetics, in alcohol still having an effect on blood sugar levels, as it left the system through the course of the following day.

Recording his conclusion. Bolton assistant coroner John Pollard said: “Looking at the evidence, and on the balance of probabilities, I think that Niall has died as a result of natural causes.

“It is his underlying condition which is the underlying cause of his death even though I do not have a confirmed medical cause.”

Niall was described as a “legend” by his junior football side, Leigh Genesis.