TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular former footballer with a “huge personality” who fell to his death while carrying out building work at a house in Leeds.
Self-employed builder Robert Hamblett, 48, fell from the first floor of a house on King Edward Avenue, Horsforth, in August 2014.
Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard Mr Hamblett, of Parkway, Gildersome, and work colleague and friend Andrew Rose were carrying out preparatory building work before windows were installed.
An inquest jury was told Mr Hamblett fell while climbing down aluminium step ladders, which had been placed on a concrete plinth above the first floor bay window.
Mr Hamblett suffered multiple fatal injuries, including a fractured skull and broken ribs.
He was pronounced dead at the scene just before 3pm on August 9 2014. The jury concluded grandfather-of-three Mr Hamblett’s death was accidental.
Mr Hamblett was a former amateur footballer who played in goal for the Leeds Medics and Dentists Football Club for around 20 years years from the mid 1980s.
The club has created the Rob Hamblett Memorial Trophy, which is presented to the player whose personality inspires success on and off the pitch.
Club president, retired Morley GP Dr Steve Ledger, 60, of Adel, said: “The fact he was a builder was completely irrelevant. It didn’t matter to him and it didn’t matter to us. He was a great character and a great goalkeeper and he was hugely influential in making us a better team and a better club.” Mr Hamblett’s partner Phillpa Hansell, 48, said: “He had a huge personality. He was loveable and we were all just devastated and heartbroken.”