A fitness fanatic suffered fatal brain damage after hitting his head on a sports hall wall, an inquest heard.

Peter Betts, 62, was playing five-a-side football with pals when he fell head-first into the brick wall at the King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove.

The hearing at Brighton Coroners’ Court heard that Mr Betts was a keen cyclist and known locally for his voluntary and fundraising work.

Although having high blood pressure, his widow told the court that he was “in good health”.

On October 24, Mr Betts, of Waldegrave Road, Brighton, attended his bi-weekly circuit training session at the leisure centre.

Following a weight class, the group decided to have a game of five-a-side football in the badminton hall.

Just minutes into the game, Mr Betts was seen to fall head first into the side wall before collapsing to the floor.

Friend Joe Green said: “It happened so quickly. He didn’t have time to get his hands out.”

'Enjoying himself'

Martin Reece, duty manager of the King Alfred, told the inquest that while the badminton hall wasn’t usually hired out for football, he had no questions over the suitability of the venue.

An ambulance was called and Mr Betts was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital. He died the next day.

Pathologist, Dr David Wright, gave a joint cause of death of brain damage, cardiac arrest, spinal cord damage and fracture.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, deputy coroner for Brighton and Hove, Catharine Palmer, said: “There is at least some comfort in that he was enjoying himself in those few seconds before his.”

Paying tribute to her husband, Ms Ellen Jones, described him as a “generous” “active” and “sociable” man.

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