Former Rotherham Titans prop died days after hospital discharge, inquest told

By David Parker | 27/01/2020

Former Rotherham Titans prop died days after hospital discharge, inquest told
Ian Williams

A RUGBY player who died suddenly in training had been discharged from hospital days before his death after suffering from chest pain, an inquest heard.

Former Rotherham Titans player Ian Williams (27) suffered a cardiac arrest at a Doncaster Knights training session on February 20, 2018, and died despite the efforts of club members and paramedics to revive him, Doncaster Coroner’s Court heard today (Monday).

The prop forward, who lived in New Edlington, made eight appearances for Rotherham Titans in the 2016-17 campaign.

His girlfriend, Abigail Lynch, told the inquest that five days before his death, Mr Williams had developed neck, arm and chest pain at home, and when his condition had worsened she had rung 111.

The rugby star was then taken by ambulance to Doncaster Royal Infirmary at around 11pm on February 15.

Ms Lynch said Mr Williams had been seen by a doctor who had asked him general questions about his condition.

Mr Williams had told the doctor that he had been diagnosed with a heart condition - a systolic heart murmur - at the age of 14, she said.

Ms Lynch said her boyfriend had been discharged at about 6am and a nurse had told him he should take ibuprofen.

Ms Lynch said she never would have let her boyfriend play for his club days later, had he been told by a doctor not to.

Mr Williams played his last game for Doncaster Knights on February 17 when he came on as a replacement in the last 15 minutes. His mother Phillippa, sister Helen and Ms Lynch had been watching from the sidelines.

He died three days later during a training session after falling to his knees, said pathologist Dr Laszlo Karsai.

He was given 48 minutes of CPR and four lots of adrenaline by those at the club and by paramedics.

Mr Williams was taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary where he was given seven cycles of CPR and adrenaline but, after an hour, medics decided to stop trying to revive him, Dr Karsai said.

His mother Phillippa said in a statement read to the court that her son was “a very intelligent young man” who had “a huge heart”.

“He would always have a grin on his face and we would speak to each other two or three times each day,” she said.

“Ian was always aware that his rugby career could be short-lived and often talked about moving into a full-time coaching role in rugby.”

Mrs Williams said her son had been diagnosed with a heart condition aged 14 and had been initially told by his school to stop playing rugby.

“We asked [a consultant] whether Ian could continue to play rugby and he said there was no reason why he could not,” said Mrs Williams.

“He was very passionate about rugby and he did not want to stop pursuing his dream.”

Mr Williams became a full-time professional rugby player in the Welsh Championship League in 2016 before signing for Rotherham Titans in June 2016.

He had previously represented Wales at student level and had gained a masters degree from Oxford University.

The inquest is expected to conclude on Thursday.



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