Wythenshawe amateur ref facing rape charges discovered dead on the day he was due in court

Wythenshawe amateur football referee, Walter Church was found dead at his home on the morning he was due to appear in court facing a rape allegation.

Mr Church, aged 50, was discovered by a neighbour at his home in Roundthorn Road on the morning of Monday April 29.

He was due to appear at Manchester Crown Court later that day. The Crown Prosecution Service have confirmed he had been charged with rape.

According to a report in the Manchester Evening News, Mr Church’s son, James believed the death was caused by stress. James said his father, who had a history of heart problems, was stressed about a lot of things as well as the pending court case.

James said although he didn’t know what charges his father was facing he knew he would be denying them in court. The case had been listed for trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Mr Church was well known in Wythenshawe as a referee in the Timperley and District Junior Football League and was registered to the Cheshire FA. He had also been a coach in Baguley.

Players at a league cup final held a one-minute silence and the Trafford School’s FA issued a statement on Twitter, saying: “We would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family of Walter Church who sadly passed away earlier this week.”

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