HIDE AND SEEK CHAMP FOUND DEAD IN CUPBOARD
Tragedy as history repeats itself
WORLD- CLASS hide and seeker Alan Youll always wanted to be take after his father, Brian – three- times international hide and seek champ between 1989 and 1994.
Tragically, 45- year- old Alan followed in his old man’s footsteps a little too closely.
For, like Brian, Alan met his lonely end trapped in a cupboard during the World Hide and Seek Championships.
Last night the tight- knit world of high- end hide- and- seeking was united in grief and shock at the horrific coincidence of two hide and seek deaths, in the same family, 19 years apart.
Graham Langley, 46, the 2002 European Champion Hider shuddered: “After Brian Youll died during the 1995 championships the hide and seek world took a long, hard look at itself.
“We vowed ‘ This must never happen again’. Procedures were changed, rules were tightened. We take our Health and Safety responsibilities very seriously, and we were certain that there would be no more fatalities in the hide and seek community.
“We were wrong. And to make matters worse, the victim this time around is Brian’s son, Alan.
“The odds against it are astronomical. But it’s happened and we need to work out what to do, going forward.”
Alan’s body was found by a demolition team tearing down the abandoned house where he had hidden in a closet during the 2014 International Hide and Seek Championships, held in Billingham, Teesside, back in April.
Home Office pathologists removed the corpse for a full autopsy where the exact cause of death will be determined.
A source said: “Because the body had started to dry out we are not yet sure if the deceased suffered a cardiac arrest, if he somehow got trapped in the cupboard or if he just sat and hid until he keeled over and died.
“The idea that somebody could be so committed to hide and seek he’d actually die before revealing his hiding place sounds outlandish.
“But that is how it works in the world of hide and seek.”
Police say there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding Alan’s death at this time, though officers from the gaming and betting squad are investigating a “large number” of big- money bets placed on the championship by Chinese and Malaysian syndicates in April.
Ominously, the circumstances behind Brian Youll’s death – reported on the front page of Sunday Sport in December 1995 – have never been fully explained.
HIDING TO NOTHING: Alan Youll was found dead in a cupboard...
... NINETEEN years after his tragic dad suffered a similar fate