A talented non-league footballer who played for both Chorley and Bamber Bridge killed himself at his home, an inquest heard.
But at the hearing into Lee Pryers’ death, his father, John and friends said there was no obvious reason why he would take his own life.
The inquest heard 31-year-old Mr Pryers, who lived alone in Smethurst Lane, Deane, near Bolton, had trials for Bolton Wanderers and was taken on as an apprentice playing for the reserve and youth teams.
The full-back was later released and continued his playing career with various clubs including Bury, Leigh RMI, Chorley, Fleetwood Town and Bamber Bridge.
He played more than 100 games for Brig and spent a season at Victory Park.
His sudden death shocked the footballing community in the towns and Chorley FC Chairman Ken Wright described him as a ‘good player’ who was a ‘quick, tenacious and strong runner.’
He said a lot of fans would remember him.
George Halliwell, director of football at Bamber Bridge, also went on to describe him as a ‘very quiet lad who kept himself to himself in the dressing room, and expressed himself on the pitch more than off it.’
He said he had also been very well thought of at Brig.
When he finished playing football, Mr Pryers worked as a window cleaner and enjoyed keeping fit.
The inquest was told although he did not indicate to family or friends he had a problem, he sent a text to ex-girlfriend Lyndsey Jackson the day before he was found dead saying he was depressed and did not know what to do.
His parents, who described their son as always being there to help others with problems, became concerned they had not heard from him on July 25 and his father went his flat and discovered his body.
Mr Pryers had died from hanging.
In recording a verdict that Mr Pryers took his own life, Deputy Coroner Alan Walsh said: “He was somebody who looked after other people and didn’t share what was on his mind.”
A minute’s silence was observed before a pre-season game between both clubs in July.
Speaking after Lee’s death, his brother Johnny told the Guardian: “We were best mates growing up, we would always be out together.
“As we got older he got into his football and I got into my own interests, but we would always stick together.
“Lee would do anything for anybody.”