A rugby player took his own life because of fears over mounting debts.
Matthew Allot, aged 36, who played for Rotherham Phoenix rugby union team, was found hanged after cannabis plants he grew in a bid to raise £8,000 were stolen when his Rawmarsh home was burgled.
He made the discovery after returning home from a party and also found his dog was missing.
Mr Allot sent a text to a friend saying he had ‘been robbed’ and in a phone call told him his dog had vanished.
The following day his body was found in his loft, the inquest heard.
Close friend Catherine Reilly told the hearing the solar panel fitter had been struggling with money for 18 months and owed £17,000.
She said in a statement: “I didn’t have any money to give him so suggested he get a payday loan. I took out the loans and let him pay me back. These loans continued through the last 18 months.”
He once had nothing to eat so she bought him £50 worth of food and took it to his home.
She also bailed him out with cash when the bailiffs came knocking.
But the inquest heard that despite his debt problems Matthew loved to drink with his pals at weekends and would buy them rounds of drinks.
“He was always worried about what other people thought about him,” she said.
“His friends had flash cars and splashed money about and he tried to keep up when he couldn’t afford it.”
She said bailiffs were chasing him for an old parking ticket he had failed to pay, which had risen to £460 – resulting in him talking about ending his life.
“I told him off for talking like that for the sake of £460,” said Ms Reilly.
He had been discussing declaring himself bankrupt when he hit upon the idea of growing cannabis – he called them ‘tomato plants’ – to raise cash.
“He was going to use the money from the sale of the plants to sort himself out,” she said.
“He was planning to register himself bankrupt when his plants were ready.”
He gave her £330 towards a payday loan just two days before his body was found on Monday, March 11 at his home on Bevan Place, Rawmarsh.
“He was relying on the cash from the plants to get his life back on track,” she said. “I just realised how helpless he must have felt.”
Pal Christopher Webb said Matthew would have been best man at his wedding abroad in February but he could not afford to go.
Recording a suicide verdict, Rotherham coroner Nicola Mundy said: “His long-standing debts played on his mind and caused him anxiety.”