Pele and Sir Bobby Charlton’s referee has died while attempting to flee a care facility.


Pele and Sir Bobby Charlton’s referee has died while attempting to flee a care facility.

An inquest heard that an international football referee who officiated legends such as Pele and Sir Bobby Charlton died after falling from a first-floor roof in an attempt to flee a care home.

Gordon Hill, 90, had moved into Oak Wood House care home in Bradninch, Devon, the day before his fall, due to worsening dementia.

He was in a distressed state when he fell and died in the hospital a few hours later.

Mr Hill was a top-flight referee who officiated many high-profile games around the world, including the League Cup final in 1975.

Mr Hill was diagnosed with dementia in his late 80s, and despite his 10-year partner Veronica Gosling’s best efforts to care for him at home, he eventually moved to the care home, according to Devon Live.

He’d been there for a three-night respite stay a month before, but he became hostile to the staff and Ms Gosling had to collect him after two evenings.

During his second stay, the pensioner became anxious and agitated again, causing damage to the home, including smashing a window above the front door entrance, and falling to his death.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has since rated the home as inadequate, and it is now in special measures.

Mr Hill, a father of two, was put to bed in his room around 11.30 p.m. on March 20, 2019, and was regularly monitored, according to the inquest.

Staff claimed they attempted to contact Mr Hill’s partner but were unable to reach her.

Mrs Gosling said she was home all evening and didn’t hear from the phone until 1.15 a.m. on March 21, when the care home owner informed her of the fall.

Staff members provided details about the unnoticed fall.

Mr Hill was discovered missing from his room during a check at around midnight, and after a search of the corridor, he was discovered to have fallen around 13 feet from a flat roof outside the window of a vacant room.

Mr Hill was conscious after falling onto the concrete below.

Prior to Mr Hill becoming a resident, an extensive pre-admission assessment and preparations were conducted, according to Dianne Smyth, registered manager and care home owner.

She explained that the plan had been to contact mental health before his fall.

“Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”


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