‘Heartbroken’: World champ found dead
FORMER world judo champion Craig Fallon has been found dead on a hillside two days after he went missing.
The 36-year-old Brit was discovered at The Wrekin - a Shropshire countryside beauty spot - yesterday morning after his worried family contacted cops, The Sun reports.
There is no cause of death at this stage, but West Mercia Police have said there are no suspicious circumstances.
Fallon, who was appointed coach of the Welsh national team four months ago, leaves behind a partner and a son.
A West Mercia Police spokesman told the Shropshire Star: "A body was subsequently found at The Wrekin early on Monday morning.
"No third party is believed to have been involved. The coroner has been informed."
Having won the under 60kg World Championship title in 2005, Fallon went on to claim the 2006 European Championship and the 2007 World Cup.
The Ipswich born Judoka is the last Brit to win a world title and only the third British male to achieve the feat.
On hearing the news, his former coach Fitzroy Davis said: "Knowing Craig from the age of 15, I can look back on our time working together with fond memories and fun times.
"At the pinnacle of his career, winning the World Championships in Cairo in 2005, he was one of the true greats of British judo.
"His dedication to the sport he loved will stay with me forever and I will cherish the time we spent together.
"Craig will be a huge loss to the sport, but I hope his achievements and his incredible story will inspire future generations to come."
Team GB are sad to report the passing of two-time Olympian and former World Champion Craig Fallon at the age of 36.— Team GB (@TeamGB) July 16, 2019
Craig competed at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 and at one point held both the World and European titles.
Rest in peace, Craig.
Of the man who also won Commonwealth gold for England in 2002, British Judo performance director Nigel Donohue said: "Firstly Craig is a son and father, as well as an outstanding judo fighter of his generation.
"Craig was a fantastic ambassador for British Judo and is our most successful athlete in the modern era."
Having retired from judo in 2011, Fallon took up coaching and was appointed head coach of the Welsh Judo Association in March.
And their chief executive Darren Warner said: "We are deeply saddened by the recent loss of our head of coaching, Craig Fallon.
"Our heartfelt sympathies are with his family during this difficult time.
"He was only with the organisation for a short time but was a joy to work with and will be sorely missed."
Fallon also competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in an illustrious career.
July has been a sad month for judo after 22-year-old Dutch champion Kim Akker died after her holiday home in Mexico exploded.
Genuinely heartbroken by this news. I grew up with Craig Fallon posters on my wall. A true inspiration. Rest in peace Craig 💔https://t.co/6koWPwyBQB— Dr Stuart McErlain-Naylor (@umpirestu) July 16, 2019
- This story originally appeared on thesun.co.uk and has ben republished with permission