Former football manager found dead in Hurstpierpoint

Ken Swallow, Burgess Hill FC
Ken Swallow, Burgess Hill FC

A former well known and highly respected football club manager has been found dead with his wife at their home in Hurstpierpoint.

It is thought that Ken and Dorothy Swallow may have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

They were found by family members on Boxing Day.

A police spokesman said: “The couple were found shortly after midday. There were no suspicious circumstances.

“It is thought they succumbed to fumes from a generator left running overnight following a power cut.”

Mr Swallow, aged 70, was a former manager of Ansty Rangers, Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath football clubs and was very well known across Mid Sussex.

His wife, Dorothy, aged 71, was described by Stewart Tippler, a former Haywards Heath Town and Ansty Rangers player as “A lovely, bubbly character who got on with everyone and always had a smile on her face.”

Mr Tippler said Ken and Dorothy were always giving and helping others.

“They were two of the nicest people you could hope to meet,” he said.

John Buck, a lifetime member of Burgess Hill Football Club, told the Middy: “When we heard the news we were devastated.

“Ken was a larger than life, charismatic character who would light up a room. Everyone liked him.

“Ken signed for Burgess Hill in 1973 and played until 1977 when he was forced to retire with an eye injury.

“He had two spells as club manager and when Ken was there we won the league. When I heard the news on Boxing Day, I felt numb with shock. They were a lovely couple.”

Before his retirement, Mr Swallow had worked as a financial director at Charles of the Ritz in Burgess Hill.

An inquest was opened and adjourned on Friday, January 3.

Ken and Dorothy Swallow leave behind a son and three daughters.