Maddy Cusack’s family says her spirit ‘may have been broken’ by football | Women’s football

Maddy Cusack’s family say a “thorough external investigation” has been launched into the Sheffield United midfielder’s death after claiming his spirit “may have been broken” by football.

Cusack died at her home in Derbyshire on 20 September, aged 27. Derbyshire Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death. An investigation was opened last month and adjourned.

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On Monday evening, the Maddy Cusack Foundation, launched by the footballer’s family, shared a speech – on Instagram and X, formerly Twitter – attributed to Cusack’s mother, Deborah, originally given at a memorial service for the former vice-captain of the Blades at the end of October.

It read: “The saddest and most heartbreaking reason I have to stand here and talk to you today is because of football. Starting in February of this year, the indomitable and unstoppable spirit, the spirit called Maddy, the spirit that I had so courageously protected, could be broken. Get him away from me.

The foundation’s message continues: “Those who knew Maddy well will know that she had no long-standing mental health issues. Not that there would be anything to be ashamed of if there was, but there wasn’t. Those who didn’t know her should know.

“Maddy was a happy, carefree girl with everything to live for and last Christmas she could be described as the happiest. Everything changed gradually from February this year. It is no secret, nor should it be, that Sheffield United Football Club has agreed, at the request of Maddy’s family, to carry out a thorough external investigation into the events which her family alleges , contributed significantly to his death at the age of 27.

Sheffield United declined to comment when approached.

Before her death, Cusack had just started her sixth season with the Blades in the Women’s Championship and was their team’s longest-serving player, with over 100 appearances, and also worked as a marketing manager for the club. The former England youth international signed a new contract extension with the Blades in July.

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