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Parents tell of boxer's last hours

PUBLISHED: 16:52 30 September 2009 | UPDATED: 15:52 16 August 2010

THE heart-broken parents of Olympic boxer Darren Sutherland say they have no idea why the young star took his own life. Tony and Lynda Sutherland appeared on The Late Late Show on Irish television channel RT: last Friday to speak of the devastation cau

THE heart-broken parents of Olympic boxer Darren Sutherland say they have no idea why the young star took his own life.

Tony and Lynda Sutherland appeared on The Late Late Show on Irish television channel RT: last Friday to speak of the devastation caused by their only son hanging himself at his flat in Bromley on September 14.

The couple said the 27-year-old, who won a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics last year, was not depressed and that they remain mystified as to his motivation for committing suicide.

Mrs Sutherland said: "I don't know why he did what he did, I can't understand. Darren had his whole life ahead of him, my Darren didn't suffer from depression."

His father said the boxer had been in a positive mood just the day before he died.

He said: "I was only talking to Darren on Sunday and he was in good form. I just can't get my head around it. One minute Darren was there and then a bolt of lightning just took him away."

Mr Sutherland was found by his boxing promoter Frank Maloney, who lives in Chislehurst and represented Lennox Lewis when he was heavyweight world champion.

Mr Maloney, 55, suffered a minor heart attack after making the discovery but is recovering at his family home which Mr Sutherland shared for four months when he first came to England after signing to Maloney Promotions.

The Olympian's father said he was distressed by the fact that his son's death was posted on the internet before the family had been informed and said the delay in them finding out had added to their grief.

He said: "It was on Bebo, it was on the internet. Somebody put it on the internet, 'Darren rest in peace'. That's before we even knew our son was dead. The first person to know that your child is dead should be you."

When the family flew to London the day after his death they visited their son's Bromley flat and found a fridge full of groceries and a to-do list for the day he died.

Mr Sutherland said: "It was just like he was there. There was nothing out of place. Darren knew where he was going in life. I hope people remember Darren for who he was and not for what happened at the end."

kate.nelson@archant.co.uk

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