Tragedy of talented young cricketer

A talented young cricketer, who was killed when he was struck by a 70mph train, intended to commit suicide, a coroner has ruled.Benjamin Beckford, 23, died when he was hit by a Norwich-bound train at the Palgrave level crossing, near Diss, on the evening of January 28.

A talented young cricketer, who was killed when he was struck by a 70mph train, intended to commit suicide, a coroner has ruled.

Benjamin Beckford, 23, died when he was hit by a Norwich-bound train at the Palgrave level crossing, near Diss, on the evening of January 28.

Diss Cricket Club player Mr Beckford, of Redgrave Road, South Lopham, left two suicide notes and was extremely depressed, Greater Suffolk deputy coroner Yvonne Blake said at an inquest held yesterday.

The hearing at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court heard how the train driver used his emergency brakes after hearing a noise at the front of his train at 8.30pm. It appeared as if someone had been struck, but there was no sign of a body in the immediate vicinity.


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However, the police were called and Mr Beckford's body was found a short distance away. He was pronounced dead at 9.05pm.

The inquest was told that Mr Beckford's parents were unaware of any major problems with him and they thought he had gone out to see his girlfriend.

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They then found a note on his computer stating his intention to take his life, so they called police and a search was launched.

Miss Blake said: “Mr Beckford was extremely depressed at the time of his death and very bleak about life.

“He knew he was loved…but couldn't cope with the way he was feeling and felt the best way was to take his own life.”

Mr Beckford started as a junior at Diss Cricket Club at the age of 11, played in a national competition when he was just 15 and progressed to the club's first team.

He represented Norfolk at county level, playing for the under 13s and under 17s, and also played cricket in Australia.

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