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Referee's type one diabetes was factor in fatal seizure, inquest hears

Daniel Mason pictured when he was an assistant referee at last seasons Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup Final at Needham Market between Felixstowe & Walton United and Stowmarket Town.  Photo coutesy of Suffolk FA

Daniel Mason pictured when he was an assistant referee at last seasons Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup Final at Needham Market between Felixstowe & Walton United and Stowmarket Town. Photo coutesy of Suffolk FA

A popular football referee from Stowmarket died as a result of a seizure which was likely contributed by his Type 1 diabetes, a coroner had concluded.

Daniel Mason is pictured in his new referee’s kit in April 2007. Photo courtesy of Suffolk FA
Daniel Mason is pictured in his new referee’s kit in April 2007. Photo courtesy of Suffolk FA

Daniel Mason, 33, was found by his parents on November 21 last year at his home in Stowupland Road after they grew concerned about him when he didn't turn up to work.

In a statement to the inquest, Mr Mason's mother Susan said he had just started a new job as a night porter and had been "looking forward to a new chapter in his life".

An inquest into his death at Suffolk Coroner's Court in Ipswich on Thursday, August 15, heard the father-of-two had Type 1 diabetes but that he often "didn't look after himself" in terms of eating properly or taking his insulin medication.

Senior coroner for Suffolk, Nigel Parsley, said Mr Mason had also reported having seizures for the last three months of his life and had been referred to a neurologist, but had not attended the appointment.

Giving evidence, Dr Pawel Wawruch, consultant histopathologist at Ipswich Hospital, said an initial post mortem did not give a definite cause of death but showed there was no sign he had died of unnatural causes.

He said knowing more now about his medical history, on the balance of probability it was likely he had died as a result of a prolonged seizure, which could have deprived his brain of oxygen.

He said: "It's more than 50% likely, given all the evidence we have heard."

Mr Parsley said the seizure was likely triggered by him having a blood sugar level which was either too high or too low.

Following his death, football clubs across the county held a minute's silence in honour of Mr Mason.

His parents David and Susan, said they were overwhelmed by the kind messages they had received following Daniel's death.

"We were very proud of Daniel and loved him with all our hearts," they said.

"Daniel has left a big hole in our hearts and will be missed every day. Daniel's refereeing meant the world to him, in the past he had put it before work if he had to.

"We have been overwhelmed with the response and tributes paid to Daniel."

Mr Parsley concluded that Mr Mason died of natural causes.

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