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Mystery as ‘devoted’ couple described as Deal Town Football Club ‘legends’ found dead in bed together

Mystery surrounds the death of a devoted couple found together in bed at their home.

Police discovered the bodies of pensioners Colin and Pamela Adams on breaking into their Deal bungalow when the alarm was raised after they had not been seen or heard from for nine days.

Colin and Pam Adams, who were married for 45 years, were found dead together in their bed at home in Deal
Colin and Pam Adams, who were married for 45 years, were found dead together in their bed at home in Deal

However, an inquest into their deaths was unable to determine the cause or exactly when they died.

The popular couple, who had been married for 45 years, were found on September 25 last year but area coroner Katrina Hepburn said post-mortems were inconclusive.

A pathologist had recorded the cause of their deaths as unascertainable.

A police investigation found no evidence of violence, suicide or any third-party involvement.

“It makes this case even more of a puzzle,” Ms Hepburn told the hearing at Oakwood House in Maidstone on Wednesday.

Mr Adams, 74, a retired accounts clerk, of Mill Hill, was a stalwart supporter of Deal Town Football Club and its president.

He had been visiting the ground for more than 60 years and, apart from watching the action on the pitch, served continually on the board for more than 45 years, either as secretary, treasurer or in his last position of fixture secretary.

He and Mrs Adams, 75, who also volunteered, were described as “true legends” of the club, seeing it through thick and thin.

It was a club official who raised the alarm with police when they had not heard from Mr Adams since September 16. He was usually often in touch and they became concerned for his welfare, said the coroner.

She said that during the police investigation, Mrs Adams’ son from her first marriage, Michael Philpott, told officers that his mother suffered mental health issues, including depression and anxiety.

Deal Town FC club president Colin Adams. Photo: Deal Town FC
Deal Town FC club president Colin Adams. Photo: Deal Town FC

He said she relied on Mr Adams heavily as her carer.

“She could never have coped without him,” he added in his statement to police.

He offered the theory that Mr Adams may have died first and she had not alerted anyone but simply “laid down next to her husband and waited to die”.

In light of any other conclusive evidence, Ms Hepburn believed there could be some validity to the hypothesis.

She noted the state of deterioration in Mr Adams’ body was more advanced than his wife, suggesting he had died earlier.

Toxicology tests could only reveal that Mrs Adams had just therapeutic levels of prescribed drugs in her system and nothing could be extracted for Mr Adams. But neither had any obvious disease that would have been fatal.

But without any exact information, she would have to record the date of their deaths on the day they were found.

A neighbour of the couple, Mark Reed said they were both heavy smokers and he had noticed a recent deterioration in their health, particularly Mr Adams who had lost a considerable amount of weight and had difficulty breathing.

In his statement, he said: “I asked him if he was okay and he replied: ‘No, not too good.’

“I asked if they needed anything but they were very private and said they would be fine. I last saw Colin washing up in the kitchen of his home on around the 15th or 16th of September.”

“Colin and Pam were lovely people and will be missed...”

Recording open conclusions for both deaths, Ms Hepburn said: “It is apparent they died before the date they were found because of the state of decomposition but it is not possible to say exactly when without forensic pathology which is not available in this case.”

But she agreed it was more likely that Mr Adams had passed away first.

“It’s very difficult to reach a conclusion without knowing what they died of but we can rule out drug- or drink-related deaths and any violence or suicide,” she said.

“It is quite unusual for two people to die of natural causes so close together, but not impossible.

“I know this will leave the family with some unanswered questions, but in this case it is most appropriate to record open conclusions.”

The couple’s death sparked an outpouring of sadness and tributes at their beloved Deal Town Football Club.

Writing on its Facebook page shortly after they passed away, former club chairman David Saunders said: “I worked with Colin for a number of years and he was made president for his incredible contribution.

“He and Pam were devoted to each other - and I could not have wanted for a more able club secretary, who was always hard working and knowledgeable, preparing each programme, acting as the club historian, and arranging the fixtures each year.

“I, along with my children Tom and Jess, are really saddened to hear this news - it really is a case of the passing of an era.

“Colin and Pam were lovely people and will be missed.”

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