Steve Jagielka: Former Sheffield United midfielder's death ruled to be drug-related

By Nathan Ridley

Former Sheffield United footballer Steve Jagielka died after taking methadone and cocaine, an inquest heard on Tuesday.

The 43-year-old was found dead at his home in Rodington Heath, Shropshire, on March 15.

Steve, a father of three and brother to ex-England star Phil Jagielka, made more than 170 appearances for Shrewsbury Town between 1997 and 2003.

A hearing at Shrewsbury's Shirehall was told how the Sale-born footballer had been working as a fitter in the Manchester area before his death.

The inquest heard statements that said post-mortem examinations had shown that Jagielka died from aspiration pneumonia caused by methadone toxicity.

He had no significant past medical history.

Shropshire Coroner John Ellery additionally heard there had been reports of potential cocaine use in the days leading up to his death, with samples showing high levels of methadone and "moderate" levels of cocaine. Police were called to his home by a neighbour.

Jagielka died in March aged 43 (Getty Images)

Jagielka was planning to move house, working as a fitter in the Manchester area before his death, the inquest was also told.

An investigation found that were no no suspicious circumstances at the property but that the electricity had "run out" and "it was clear that the house was in the process of being packed up."

Mr Ellery stated: "The medical cause of death is given as aspirational pneumonia due to methadone toxicity.

"There is no suggestion that Steve's death was deliberate and I record that his death was drug-related."

After the conclusion of the hearing, Jagielka's ex-wife, Jo Fallows, said: "Wherever he went, everybody knew him."

Fallows also commented that football was 'all her former husband ever knew' and was critical of the Professional Footballers Assocation, saying: "I think the PFA should help them a little bit more."

In a tribute back in March, Sheffield United said: "[The club] is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former player Steve Jagielka - brother of current defender Phil - at the age of 43.

"The condolences of all at the Blades are with Phil and the rest of the Jagielka family at this difficult time."

He notably helped Accrington Stanley gain promotion to the Football League and he also spent time with AFC Telford United, Droylsden, Hednesford Town and Ellesmere Rangers in non-league

Current Stanley boss John Coleman, who was in charge for the success during his first stint managing the club, also paid tribute in March.

"It’s absolutely sickening news for everyone at the club, he was such a popular character when he was here and a big part of why we’re playing in these games," Coleman said.

"Our hearts and our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends."

After his playing days were over, Jagielka had his own plumbing business.


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