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AN EVERTON football fan was found dead hours before their game against Albion.
The 58-year-old was found dead in the street near the bed and breakfast where he was staying just hours before the match.
Police said the man’s death was not suspicious and was not football related.
The man, who it is thought comes from Kendal, in Cumbria, had come down to Brighton on the evening of Saturday October 14 ahead of the Sunday afternoon game.
But he never saw the 1-1 draw at the American Express Community Stadium as he was found dead five hours before kick off.
Sources suggested he had slipped or fallen on the pavement after an evening spent drinking with fellow fans in the city’s pubs. It is not known how long he had been in Marine Parade prior to being found.
A spokesman for Everton FC described it as “really tragic”.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “A 58-year-old man was sadly found dead outside a property on Marine Parade, Brighton just after 8.30am on Sunday, October 15.
“His death is not being treated as suspicious and the coroner has been informed.”
A spokesman for Everton FC said they were aware of the death.
He added: “It is really tragic.
“It is something we have been dealing with privately with the family.
“We have sent some flowers to the family.
“We are looking to run a tribute to him in the match day programme, probably on November 5.”
Police insisted the death was not football related and there had been no trouble at the match.
Sussex Police’s football liaison officer Darren Balkham said: “There was no fighting in the pubs and no violence between fans.”
PC Balkham was praised earlier this week after stopping a homophobic Twitter troll in his tracks.
The West Ham fan posted offensive and homophobic comments about Seagulls fans on the social media platform during a discussion after the Albion’s demolition job
Among those following the Twitter exchange was Sussex Police Albion liaison officer, PC Darren Balkham.
The officer, who follows the club around the country, told the cocky Hammers fan: “[you] just broke the law. Expect a call. Concentrate on supporting your team.”
He added: “Be assured I have your full details by now and would recommend we continue the chat off line.”
PC Balkham, has developed a rapport with Seagulls supporters over his years and violence connected to games has significantly dropped in recent years.
Last August a 51 year old Everton fan died during a home game at Goodison Park
The fan collapsed during the second half of a Premier League match and despite the efforts of paramedics, an off duty doctor and police officers could not be saved.
Source: The Argus