'Talented' and 'caring' Clipstone footballer died after taking methadone amid mental health battle, inquest finds

An inquest into the death of a 25-year-old Clipstone footballer suffering with anxiety and depression found he died after taking methadone.

Thursday, 9th June 2022, 8:22 am

Chesterfield Coroner’s Court heard Marcus Beddoe, aged 25, died at Chesterfield Royal Hospital on April 20, 2021.

Marcus, of Walton, Chesterfield, suffered a prolonged cardiac arrest after taking methadone – a drug used to help heroin-users fight addiction, although he was not a user – a few days earlier, leading to an unsurvivable brain injury.

Peter Nieto, coroner, said Marcus was an ‘active, fit young man’ with a ‘responsible job’ as a retail shift manager.

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Marcus sadly passed away last year.

He spent time at Chesterfield FC’s academy as a child and was called up to represent England under-19s in futsal, before appearing for Matlock Town and Clipstone FC, who he was signed for at the time of his death.

He had, however, been experiencing mental health problems in the months preceding his death, with his parents, Mary and Steven, noticing a change in his behaviour around Christmas 2020.

Mr Nieto said Marcus began treatment for anxiety and depression after he was taken to hospital after crashing his car.

Marcus’s parents felt the second lockdown period worsened his condition, as he was unable to go out as much, leading him to lose contact with people and start to isolate himself.

Marcus was prescribed medication, including antidepressant Sertraline, and had regular phone appointments with a number of different doctors.

During these calls, Marcus said he felt stressed and anxious, which he felt stemmed from an assault at a nightclub when he was 17. He said he was not leaving the house, but did not express any desire to end his own life to medical staff.

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Stressful

In March, Marcus’s parents told doctors he had left his job as he was finding it too stressful.

Marcus spoke of his stress, but reported no suicidal thoughts and was not identified for a crisis referral.

His Sertraline dose was increased, but on April 7, Steven told a doctor he was worried Marcus’s condition had deteriorated, having lost about £6,000 gambling.

A few days before Marcus’s death, a GP advised he be referred to a community mental health team.

However, staff said, due to long referral waiting lists, even if it happened earlier, it would have been unlikely to change the outcome.

Marcus took methadone at the Chesterfield flat of an acquaintance at some point overnight on April 14.

Mr Nieto said: “Marcus had no significant history of drug use. He was not prescribed methadone and had no history of opiate use.

“It is unclear how he obtained it, but there is no evidence he was forced to take it.

“He either took it to experience the narcotic effect, or to help with his problems. There is no evidence he took it to cause himself harm.

“Evidence shows it is unlikely Marcus had taken this before and therefore had no tolerance.

“He succumbed to the toxic effects of the methadone, which led to the cardiac arrest. That’s the most likely chain of events leading to his death.”

Mr Nieto concluded Marcus’s death was drug-related, with the cause being hypoxic brain injury caused by methadone toxicity.

On the first anniversary of his death, Clipstone FC paid tribute to Marcus, describing him as a ‘talented footballer and a genuine, kind and caring person’.