A POPULAR former Evesham United footballer killed himself, an inquest has heard.

Neil Emms, who died on November 16 and played for the club in the late 80s and early 90s, was found in a car at the car park of William House, Worcester Road, Evesham, with a pipe fitted to the exhaust and fed through a window.

Worcestershire’s deputy coroner Marguerite Elcock said the 47-year-old killed himself and died of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

He was discovered with his head resting on a pillow and a half empty bottle of tablets in the car.

The inquest at Worcestershire Coroner’s Court also heard Mr Emms of no fixed abode was sleeping at a friend’s house and had made previous attempts at taking his own life as well as having gone through a difficult relationship breakdown.

Mr Emms, who was affectionately known as Emmsy, also represented Evesham United Old Boys versus a Manchester United Legends team in the opening match at the club’s new Jubilee Stadium ground in Cheltenham Road in the summer.

More than 600 people, including numerous former team mates and representatives of local football leagues, attended his funeral at St Peter’s Church, Bengeworth, in December.

Loving ‘messages to heaven’ were also attached to 47 balloons – one for each year of his life – and released into the skies above Evesham.