The inquest into the death of the Everton F.C. groundsman


August 29, 1893
Inquest and verdict
Yesterday afternoon, Mr. S. Brighouse, county coroner, held an inquest at the Spellow House Hotel, Walton, relative to the death of George Howard, forty-five years of age, groundsman for the Everton Football Club, and residing at 6, Gwladys Street, Walton.

Mrs. Howard stated that she was on the football ground at the practice match on Monday night, and saw her husband there, and a young woman named Lizzie Roderick standing near him. She went up to her husband, and spoke to him about the girl, and he told her that she was to take no notice of the girl, as she was only running after him to aggravate her. She left him and went home. Deceased came in about half-past ten, and she could then see he had had some drink. They had some words about the girl, and about a quarter of an hour afterwards the deceased went into the backyard. He kissed the children before he went out, and bade them goodbye. She followed him into the yard, and he put his head through a noose of the clothesline that was stretched across the yard. She thought he did it to frighten her, and she told him not to be silly, but to go in. She went in, and expected him to follow her; but he did not do so, and in about five minutes she went out and found him quite dead, with his head in the noose. She and her two sons lifted him up, and his head came out of the noose. She felt confident he never meant to take away his life.

Elizabeth Ann Roderick stated that she used to clean the club offices, and had got to know deceased in that way. She had not spoken to him for three months, and had never been unduly familiar with him. She was at the match on Monday night, but did not speak to him.

The jury, after considerable deliberation, decided that the deceased met his death by misadventure.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: August 30, 1893)

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