‘Darren had no reason to take his life’

THE father of tragic Olympic boxer Darren Sutherland says he can’t see any reason why his son would take his own life and is waiting for answers from a London coroner’s report.

An emotional Tony Sutherland said that the 27-year-old boxer had previously commented that people who took their own lives were “selfish”.

“He was not a person with depression. I’m absolutely 100% sure my son didn’t suffer any sort of depression,” said Mr Sutherland.

He said the middle weight boxer had no financial problems and knew exactly where he was going with his life.

“There was zero reason to take his life. I am waiting for answers. I have to wait for the coroner’s report,” Darren’s distraught father said.

Darren – who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics – was found dead at his flat in Bromley, south London, by his manager Frank Maloney and sports psychologist Joe Dunbar on Monday, September 14. They made the grim discovery at around 3pm.

Mr Sutherland was talking to his wife, Linda, on the phone shortly after 6pm that day when she said two men had pulled up outside their Dublin home in a grey car.

He described hearing his wife speak to the men, who were gardaí, and then shout: “Oh my God, oh my God, not my Darren.”

Mr Sutherland said he had been struck in traffic in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, and was not able to get back home for some time.

He said he couldn’t believe that somebody had posted comments on the internet about his son’s death before he was informed.

“Why did I have to go all day from 3pm thinking everything was okay.

“Why did nobody pick up the phone. Up to this day there hasn’t been a single call from England,” said Mr Sutherland.

He said he’d been talking to his son the previous day and he’d been fine.

“It was like Darren was standing there and a bolt of lightning came down and took him away.”

Mr Sutherland, who was appearing on the Late Late Show last night, described how a police officer had taken him to see Darren’s flat.

“It was just like he was there. There was nothing out of place. Darren had his routines.”

He said his son had plans for up to 8.30pm the day he died, and had seen them written down in the apartment.

“There was a week’s worth of shopping in the cupboard.”

Darren’s mother, Linda, said she couldn’t believe what had happened and waited every day for him to call home.

“He was so bubbly, a people’s person. He had his whole life planned out. I can’t get my head around it. He was happy-go-lucky. There isn’t a photo in the house where he doesn’t smile. My Darren didn’t suffer from depression,” his mother said.

Mr Sutherland said the only thing bothering his son was a small cut he got below his eye during his last fight.

He said he was waiting for answers and appealed to the media to respect the family’s privacy.


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