A mum has paid tribute to her “kind and loving” football-mad son who was found drowned in a canal after suffering from depression.
Huddersfield Town fan Conor Foley, 22, whose body was found in the Calder and Hebble Navigation at Dewsbury last July, had previously battled mental health problems but hadn’t always taken his anti-depressant medication.
Mum Sam Foley described Conor as a lovely son who would go out of his way to help people.
However, she told an inquest into his death that Conor had been badly affected by a close friend’s death from an overdose. Shortly after his friend’s death in 2015 Conor had himself taken an overdose.
But Mrs Foley said she didn’t believe her son - who used to live in Mirfield - had wanted to take his own life.
“He didn’t like water and he couldn’t swim,” she said.
A post mortem examination revealed that Conor, of Ouzelwell Road, Dewsbury had drunk the equivalent of five pints of beer shortly before his death. The cause was confirmed as drowning.
Det Con Kirsten Ford told the inquest that a note had been found in Conor’s bedroom which had referred to his own funeral arrangements.
Coroner Oliver Longstaff said it was clear from the evidence that Conor did have a history of depression and mental health problems.
He said: “From time to time he sought help and from time to time he declined help - and that is not a criticism of him. It is common with those suffering mental illness.”
Mr Longstaff said he did not wish to speculate in public what had triggered Conor’s depression.
He added: “There is no evidence anybody else wished Conor harm or anybody was involved in the circumstances surrounding his death.”
Mr Longstaff said it was clear that Conor had died as a result of his own actions but it wasn’t possible to conclude he had intended to take his own life.
He said there was “conflicting evidence” as Conor had told his mum that he intended to jump from a bridge at the Asda store in Dewsbury.
Conor had also sent a text to his family shortly before his death which simply said: “Bye. Love you.”
Mr Longstaff said Conor’s death might have been an accident or deliberate but it wasn’t possible to say for sure.
He recorded an “open conclusion” to the case, saying: “His state of mind cannot be ascertained.”
“It is clear Conor had something of a troubled life. He was also a loved and loving son and brother.”
After the hearing Mrs Foley said: “He would help anybody. He was the kindest person and loved being with his family.”
Conor’s sister Kerry, 25, said: “He used to ring me up and say ‘get your glad rags on we are going for a dance’. We would go into Batley or to the Squash Club at Dewsbury.”
Dad Cornelius said: “He was a Liverpool fan but we converted him to Huddersfield Town. He was also a Huddersfield Giants fan. He loved football.”
If you or someone you know is struggling, Samaritans are available to listen 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on 116 123.