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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Death of Ightham Football Club legend Mick 'Munch' Ashby after ladder slip while repairing tiles in Ditton was tragic accident

22 April 2014
by James Walker

Mick "Munch" Ashby never regained consciousness after he fell 30ft at Sheldon Court while trying to repair storm-damaged tiles.

The 62-year-old HGV driver was being watched by son-in-law Duncan Crouch and wife Jane Ashby.

Mick 'Munch' Ashby died after falling from scaffolding

Mick 'Munch' Ashby died after falling from scaffolding

Mr Ashby had set up two ladders to reach the tiles. Statements from Mr Crouch and Mrs Ashby both said the lower of the two became unhooked.

This caused the bottom ladder to move one way and the top one went in the other direction.

In a written statement, Mr Crouch said he saw Mr Ashby reach for the roof once he had slipped, but he was unable to cling on.

He did not shout for help and was knocked unconscious when he reached the ground.

The air ambulance flew him to the Royal London Hospital on Thursday, February 13.

"He became a father figure to many of those young players, a protective presence on the touchline and a positive influence on many lives away from the football pitch, a source of friendship and guidance..." - friend Andy Rayfield

Five days later, Mr Ashby died with his family at his side. He leaves a wife and three daughters.

He devoted more than 40 years of his life to Ightham Football Club.

After two decades playing as a centre back, he went on to manage the club's two teams. His main focus was training youngsters in the reserve team, but he would also referee games and helped carry out repairs to the club's pavilion.

The hearing took place at the Archbishops' Palace in Maidstone. Coroner Kate Thomas confirmed Mr Ashby did not die of natural causes.

Medical reports listed multiple causes of death - including a traumatic brain injury, a fall from height and a series of fractures to his ribs, spine and face.

The coroner's conclusion was Mr Ashby's death was a tragic accident.

At the time of his death, close friend Andy Rayfield said he was amazed to see Mr Ashby touched so many lives.

He said: "Ightham Football Club has lost a true stalwart and extends its sympathies and thoughts to Munch’s family.

"He became a father figure to many of those young players, a protective presence on the touchline and a positive influence on many lives away from the football pitch, a source of friendship and guidance."


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