Dale Roberts (footballer born 1986)
Roberts playing for Rushden & Diamonds in 2010
|Date of birth||22 October 1986|
|Place of birth||Horden, County Durham, England|
|Date of death||14 December 2010(aged 24)|
|Place of death||Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire, England|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|2006||→ Eastwood Town (loan)||10||(0)|
|2006–2007||→ Alfreton Town (loan)||42||(0)|
|2008||→ Rushden & Diamonds (loan)||13||(0)|
|2008–2009||→ Rushden & Diamonds (loan)||14||(0)|
|2009–2010||Rushden & Diamonds||61||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Roberts started his career in his native North-East with the academy sides at Sunderland and Middlesbrough before he moved to Nottingham Forest. He failed to make Forest's first team and had loans spells with Eastwood Town and Alfreton Town. He had two more loan spells both with Rushden & Diamonds before joining the Conference National side on a permanent deal in 2009. He won the club's player of the season in 2008–09. He also won six caps for the England C, winning the 2009–10 player of the year, before his death by suicide at the age of 24.
Roberts was born in Horden, County Durham. His mother was Isabella. He played for Cleveland Juniors Football Club and attended Easington Comprehensive School with fellow academy footballer Adam Johnson. He was with the Sunderland and Middlesbrough football academies, joining the latter in 2003 as a scholar and was part of Boro's FA Youth Cup winning squad in 2004 as back-up to David Knight.
Roberts began his senior career with Nottingham Forest after signing as a professional in 2005. He joined local Northern Premier League First Division side Eastwood Town on loan in March 2006, where he made 10 appearances. He joined Conference North club Alfreton Town on a season-long loan for the 2006–07 season in July, which he finished with 42 appearances.
He joined Conference National team Rushden & Diamonds on a one-month loan on 24 January 2008, which was extended for a second month in February. He made 19 first team appearances for the club, including the Conference League Cup Final. Roberts rejoined Rushden for a second loan spell in October 2008 as cover for Alan Marriott who was out with a stomach injury that needed surgery. The loan was extended until January 2009 and he finished the spell with 18 appearances, keeping five clean sheets, and subsequently signed permanently at Nene Park on 2 January 2009. He was named Rushden's player of the season in 2008–09.
During the 2009–10 season, Roberts played in all four England C games, and was voted the England C player of the season. His last appearance for England C, and in fact in all senior football, came against Wales on 14 September 2010.
Roberts was engaged to Lindsey Cowan, but the pair split in May 2010 after revelations she had been having an affair with Roberts' teammate Paul Terry. Later in the year, Roberts and Cowan got back together and were still engaged at the time of Roberts' death.
On 14 December 2010, just hours before he was due to play in an FA Trophy match against his former club Eastwood Town, it was announced that Roberts had died. The match was subsequently postponed. Roberts was found by Northamptonshire Police at his home in Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire;  they said that they were not treating the circumstances as suspicious. The club's FA Youth Cup tie the following day was postponed as was the following first team game against Eastbourne Borough. The cause of death was reported to be suicide by hanging. At an inquest opened at the end of the week, deputy coroner Rodney Haig gave cause of death as asphyxia. Following Roberts' death, Rushden retired their number one shirt. Coroner Anne Pember recorded a suicide verdict at the closing of Roberts' inquest, which heard the goalkeeper had killed himself after struggling to come to terms with an injury and national media speculation about his fiancee's affair with Paul Terry.
|Club||Season||League[A]||FA Cup||League Cup||Other[B]||Total|
|Eastwood Town (loan)||2005–06||10||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||10||0|
|Alfreton Town (loan)||2006–07||42||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||42||0|
|Rushden & Diamonds (loan)||2007–08||13||0||0||0||0||0||6||0||19||0|
|Rushden & Diamonds||20||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||21||0|
- A. ^ The "League" column constitutes appearances and goals (including those as a substitute) in the Football Conference and Northern Premier League.
- B. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals (including those as a substitute) in the Conference League Cup, FA Trophy and play-offs.
- Nannestad, Ian (2010-12-18). "PFA tribute to young keeper who passed away this week". Professional Footballers' Association. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Dale was so depressed". Evening Telegraph (Northampton). 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
- Engelbrecht, Gavin (2010-12-17). "England and Manchester City star tells of his torment". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
- "Goalkeeper's death shock". The Northern Echo. 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2010-12-15.
- "Player Profiles". Rushden & Diamonds F.C. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Player Details: Season 2005–2006". SoccerFactsUK. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Alfreton Move For 'Keeper". Nottingham Forest F.C. 2006-07-26. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Season 2006/2007:". Sportbox.tv. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Rushden bag Forest keeper on loan". BBC Sport. 2008-01-24. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Veteran Bastock departs Diamonds". BBC Sport. 2008-02-28. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Edinburgh takes up Diamonds role". BBC Sport. 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- Appleby, Mike (2010-09-15). "Fairclough's food for thought". The Football Association. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- Fricker, Martin (2010-05-20). "John Terry's brother Paul is having an affair with team-mate’s girlfriend". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2010-12-15.
- "Death of Diamonds player Dale Roberts 'not suspicious'". BBC News. 2010-12-15. Retrieved 2010-12-15.
- "Rushden and Diamonds goalkeeper Dale Roberts dies". BBC News. 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Young goalkeeper hangs himself after discovering that his fiancée slept with John Terry's brother". Daily Mail. 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Dale Roberts remembered by former clubs". BBC Sport. 2010-12-15. Retrieved 2010-12-15.
- "Inquest opened into death of footballer Dale Roberts". BBC News. 2010-12-17. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
- "Justin Edinburgh: Dale touched our lives". Rushden & Diamonds F.C. 2010-12-19. Retrieved 2010-12-19.
- "Nottm Forest 2005/2006 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Nottm Forest 2006/2007 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Nottm Forest 2007/2008 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Nottm Forest 2008/2009 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Season 2007/2008:". Sportbox.tv. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Season 2008/2009:". Sportbox.tv. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Season 2009/2010:". Sportbox.tv. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Season 2010/2011:". Sportbox.tv. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
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