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News & Comment

Football club chairman found dead

The chairman of a football club caught up in the Pakistan match-fixing scandal is thought to have taken his own life, it emerged today.

David Le Cluse, 44, was found dead on Saturday with gunshot wounds in a garage near his home in Surrey.

He was chairman of Croydon Athletic, whose owner Mazhar Majeed was arrested in August following allegations that members of the Pakistan cricket team were involved in match fixing during their recent tour of England.

Mr Le Cluse, who was married with two children, was said to be devastated when the Ryman League club became embroiled in the scandal.

A statement posted on the club's website said: "Croydon Athletic are deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden tragic death of their chairman, David Le Cluse, on Saturday October 2.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with David's wife and children, and we would ask everyone to respect their privacy at this devastating time for them."

Croydon Athletic's former manager Tim O'Shea told The Times: "He was very upset at the allegations and the club getting involved.

"It probably hit him harder than most because of his personal friendship with Majeed.

"He wanted nothing more than for the club to succeed and he was probably upset and affected by it more than anybody else."

Majeed was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers and released on bail.

The match-fixing allegations centred on the timing of no-balls delivered during the Test match.

Undercover reporters from the News of the World allegedly paid a middleman £150,000 and in return were told exact details relating to play during the following day.

In video footage released by the paper, Majeed was apparently seen with a pile of money in front of him.

Mr Le Cluse's body was found at 10.40am on Saturday in a garage in Park Gate Road, Sutton, following reports of a man with gunshot wounds.

The Metropolitan Police said: "A 44-year-old man suffered what is believed to have been a gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The circumstances of his death are being treated as unexplained. Inquiries are ongoing."

A post-mortem examination is due to take place.