Page last updated at 10:56 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 11:56 UK

Cricket ball throw killed umpire, Swansea inquest hears

Alcwyn Jenkins
Alcwyn Jenkins had been a cricket umpire for 25 years

An experienced umpire died after an "unfortunate accident" when he was hit on the head by a cricket ball during an attempted run out, an inquest heard.

Alcwyn Jenkins, 72, of Skewen, had his back to fielder Stephen Davies when he threw the ball at the stumps at Swansea's St Helen's ground last July.

Mr Davies had known Mr Jenkins since he had coached him from the age of 10.

Recording a verdict of accidental death coroner Philip Rogers said Mr Jenkins' family in no way blamed Mr Davies.

He said Mr Jenkins' son Paul had told him he took "some consolation" in the fact his father "was doing something he loved at the time of his death."

Since the death of his wife the inquest heard Mr Jenkins had "devoted his life to his grandchildren and his second love cricket."

The inquest heard Mr Jenkins was umpiring a match between Swansea and Llangennech on the afternoon of 4 July 2009.

It was only after I had thrown the ball that I saw that Alcwyn was in the way
Stephen Davies, fielder

Around 1630 BST Swansea were at the crease and the two batsmen went for a quick single.

Mr Davies, who was fielding, described how in one motion he caught the ball and turned quickly to throw it at the stumps.

"It was only after I had thrown the ball that I saw that Alcwyn was in the way," he said.

"There was a couple of shouts - it just happened so quickly."

Pc Michael Chislett, who investigated the death, told the inquest Mr Jenkins had his back to the fielder as he moved into position to determine if there was a run out.

"Unfortunately Alcwyn moved with his back to Stephen so did not see the ball that had been thrown in his direction."

PC Chislett said a number of players shouted a warning but the ball struck Mr Jenkins on the right side of his head.

Either he had not heard the warnings, had not had time to react or "had been so professional he did not want to take his eyes off the stumps", added Pc Chislett.

When he collapsed players and officials rushed to his assistance but he was unconscious.

Mr Jenkins was flown by air ambulance to Swansea's Morriston Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

A post mortem examination found the widower had died as a result of a head injury.

Mr Rogers said the incident that led to the death was a "normal everyday part of the game."

He said: "It was a most unfortunate accident."

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