A 20-year-old rugby player who died in July took his own life, an inquest has heard.
Owen Bennett, from Bargoed, was found dead by his father on the morning of July 22. He had hanged himself at the garage of his home.
The inquest into Owen’s death took place at Newport Coroner’s Court on Tuesday, November 12.
The coroner, Caroline Saunders, read a statement from Owen’s sister, Megan Bennett, describing how Owen had been affected by his parents splitting up and had been a user of cannabis.
A talented hooker, Owen, rose through the ranks of Caerphilly RFC playing his junior, youth, and finally senior rugby at the club.
Before his death, he had joined Nelson RFC and had been due to star for the team this season in the Division One East league.
He had also represented the Gwent Dragons at under 16 and under 18s, as well as his school – Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni.
He also had spells at Bargoed RFC and rugby league side Aber Valley Wolves.
Outside of rugby, Owen worked as a bricklayer.
On Sunday, August 4, a rugby match was held in Owen’s memory at Caerphilly RFC, with more than 2,500 people attending.
The match was contested between a Caerphilly Select XV and Benny’s Baa Baas XV, with the latter winning the game.
In total, 88 players played in the game, including Owen’s father, Paul Bennett, who led the teams out and was presented with the trophy after the game.
The game helped raise around £6,000 for Owen’s family and a number of charities, including bereavement support charity 2 Wish Upon a Star.
In a Facebook post after Owen’s death, Caerphilly RFC said: “Owen was a great character on and off the pitch. He brought a smile to everyone’s face. His passing will leave a huge void at the club.”
Meanwhile, a Nelson RFC statement following Owen’s death said: “Owen was a promising prospect and an all round great character, having transferred to us recently from Caerphilly RFC we were over the moon to have him ply his trade in the Unicorn Jersey.
“His passing will leave a hole in the club and will be devastating for his family and close friends.”
Anyone affected by this story can contact Samaritans free of charge on 116 123.