FA launch investigation into Maddy Cusack death

Sophie Barker and family members pay tribute in memory of Maddy Cusack prior to the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Newcastle United at Bramall Lane on September 24, 2023 in Sheffield, England

The Football Association has launched a formal investigation into the death of Sheffield United Women’s player Maddy Cusack, after receiving evidence from her family.

The 27-year-old, who was the Women’s Championship club’s longest-serving player at the time of her passing and also worked there as a marketing executive, died at home in Derbyshire in September.

A subsequent external investigation, commissioned by Sheffield United, concluded prior to Christmas and found no evidence of wrongdoing by anybody connected to the club.

Earlier in January, it emerged the FA were assessing information surrounding the midfielder’s death to see if further inquiries were needed, and after a period of evidence-gathering, it’s understood the governing body will now conduct a full investigation into the circumstances leading up to her death.

On 21 December, one of the FA’s senior integrity managers met with Cusack’s parents. The FA are understood to have been continually liaising with both the Cusack family and the club.

Maddy Cusack of Sheffield United looks on during the Barclays FA Women's Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield United at Sir Tom Finney Stadium on August 29, 2021 in Bamber Bridge, England
Maddy Cusack died in September - Getty Images/Charlotte Tattersall

Despite the independent investigation that Sheffield United commissioned concluding that there was no wrongdoing at the club, the South Yorkshire outfit did say in a statement in December: “The club is always looking for ways to evolve and will reflect on the outcomes and recommendations arising from the investigation to consider how processes and policies may be improved.” They have also vowed to review and expand their well-being provisions.

Sheffield United and the Cusack family declined to comment when approached by Telegraph Sport. The family have reportedly not yet seen a copy of the previous investigation that was carried out.

A coroner’s inquest, which was adjourned in October, has yet to conclude formally on the cause of former England youth international Cusack’s death. Police did not treat the circumstances as suspicious.

A Foundation was set up by her family in her honour and its ‘JustGiving’ page has already raised more than £16,000, exceeding an initial £10,000 target.

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