Footballer’s tragic death at Manchester


May 30, 1914
The tragic death of a professional footballer, Thomas Leigh, aged 26, of Fairfield, Bury, will be regretted by followers of the Association code at Spotland in that Leigh was formerly connected with the Rochdale club.

He was a patient in the Manchester Royal Infirmary, and on Monday (May 25) he jumped from a window at that institution. He died shortly afterwards.

Some weeks ago Leigh thought he had injured himself by an internal twist when playing football, and he was taken to the Infirmary. There it was found that he was suffering from cancer and an operation was performed. Later he was sent to Cheadle Convalescent Home to prepare for another operation at the Infirmary.

This second operation was successful, but on Sunday Leigh was very much depressed. On Monday about half-past seven, when the nurse was away from the ward, he got out of bed and opened a window, from which, apparently, he flung himself to the ground, a distance of 37 feet.

At the inquest on Wednesday (May 27) the jury returned a verdict of “Suicide.”

Leigh was associated with the Rochdale club in season 1912-13, and filled both right and left full back positions. On August 31st, 1912, he was a member of the Association Club team that won the the half-mile relay race at the Hornets’ sports, the other teams representing the Hornets and Oldham Athletic. Smith, Spink, and Henderson were his colleagues on that occasion.

From Rochdale Leigh went to South Liverpool, and thence to Goole.
(Rochdale Observer: May 30, 1914)

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