Tragedy as his­tory re­peats it­self

Sunday Sport - - FRONT PAGE - By SI­MON DEAN si­[email protected] sun­daysport. co. uk

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

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