A junior club member at Blueharts HC in Hertfordshire died after being hit on the head with a hockey stick before a training session, an inquest has heard.
Luke Hobson, 14, had been hitting with around 20 others at the Hitchin club in March last year when the incident occurred.
Hertfordshire Coroner’s Court heard that no pitch lights were on or that coaches were present at the time.
The schoolboy’s parents, Helen Moss and Peter Hobson, said subsequent police and council investigations following Luke’s death had a “disappointing level of analysis, accuracy and conclusions”.
Until a boy came forward, police had been unable to decipher how Luke’s injuries had occurred.
According to the BBC, the child said in a statement that he had been “trying to hit the ball up into the air” when Luke was hit.
“I didn’t know Luke was behind me. I ran to get first aid … I didn’t mean to hit anybody. It was an accident and I am very sorry it happened.”
The court heard that the boy had not spoken when the incident happened as he had “only later been able to fully remember details”.
In an ongoing inquest, the court was told that locks have since been installed on gates at the club and hockey members are banned from playing until authorised training sessions are scheduled to begin.
On the night he died, coaches and the emergency services did “an extraordinary job” to try and save him, according to the club.
The club said last year: “Tragically his injury was not survivable but we want to help the emergency services by donating to the East Anglian Air Ambulance which took Luke to Addenbrooke’s Hospital that night.”
Hockey clubs across the UK left messages of condolences when Luke’s death was revealed by the club.
The club added at the time: “He was a very well-liked, enthusiastic and committed team player who never gave up in games, especially when things were not going the team’s way.
“He was such a remarkable boy who touched so many lives. and a credit to his family who always supported him with his hockey. He will be very much missed.”
Luke had been a member of Blueharts since joining the Mini’s section. He played under-10, 12 and had also progressed to the under-14 seven-a-side team.
Thousands of pounds have been raised for charity since March last year. Last October, the club’s new Lucas Lane astro turf was dedicated to Luke’s memory.
Tagged Safety in Hockey