December 28, 1899
Mr. Alfred Hodgkinson, coroner, held an inquiry at St. Paul’s Schoolroom, Tottenham, respecting the death of Thomas Henry Bradshaw, aged twenty six years, the well known international footballer, and captain of the Thames Ironworks Football Club, who died suddenly at his residence, 5, Shelbourne Road, Tottenham, on Christmas Day.
The evidence showed that the deceased was formerly a member of the Liverpool Club, and last season played for Tottenham Hotspur. Three weeks ago, whilst playing for Thames Ironworks, he was kicked on the leg and disabled, and the doctor ordered him three weeks’ rest. On Christmas morning he appeared quite well, and left home to go to Northumberland Park to witness the match between the Spurs and Portsmouth. After the match he adjourned with some of the players to the Bell and Hare close by, where he had one glass of whiskey. At 2:15 he left his friends and went home, but no sooner had he entered the house than he complained of feeling sick. He vomited excessively, and afterwards threw himself on the bed, complaining of violent pains in the head and chest. Before anything could be done for him he suddenly had a fit and expired.
Elizabeth Bradshaw, the widow, stated that four years ago, during a football match, deceased was kicked on the head, and on the following Saturday, was again kicked in the same place, and the doctor who attended him said that the drum of the ear had been ruptured. From that time he suffered from pains in the head and discharges from the ears. She knew of nothing else likely to have caused his death.
John Jones, one of Tottenham Hotspur players, said he had known the deceased from boyhood. From the time of the successive kicks on the head, he had never been the same, the pain being at times intense, and whenever he had to play a ball with his head it hurt him so that he had to put his hands to his ears to ease it. Witness was with him on Christmas Day until 2.15, when deceased left to go home to dinner, apparently in the best of health. Witness did not think there was any extra excitement during the match.
Dr. Hugh Davis, of Northumberland Park, stated that he was called at four o’clock, and found Bradshaw dead. The post-Morten showed death to be due to the rupture of a blood vessel on the brain, which was possibly due to the injury to the head received four years ago, but might also arise from excitement or the strain put on the blood vessel whilst vomiting. It was impossible to say definitely which.
The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence, and added that the rupture was the result of natural causes. The expressed their sympathy with the deceased’s widow.
(Illustrated Police News: January 6, 1900)
Harry Bradshaw, Thames Ironworks (Illustrated Police Budget: November 11, 1899):