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Investigation following Maddy Cusack’s death finds no evidence of wrongdoing

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Dec 2023

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An investigation following the death of Sheffield United player Maddy Cusack has found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Cusack, who made 110 United appearances, died aged 27 in September.

United opened what they described as a third-party investigation into processes and conduct at the club after Cusack’s family raised concerns.

In November, the Maddy Cusack Foundation shared a speech online attributed to Cusack’s mother which it said was given at a memorial service in October. The speech said Cusack’s spirit “was allowed to be broken” by football.

However, the club announced on Monday that the investigation had now closed with no evidence found of any wrongdoing.

“Following a thorough review of the valuable input provided by each of the key witnesses put forward by Maddy’s family and the club, the investigation has found no evidence of wrongdoing,” the South Yorkshire club said in a statement published on their official website.

“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.”

United said everyone at the club remained “deeply saddened” by Cusack’s death. She had worn the number eight shirt “with distinction”, the club said, and was a “valued and popular member” of their marketing department.

“Following Maddy’s death, the club provided staff with the opportunity to engage with additional external support,” the club statement continued.

“As part of the club’s commitment to continual improvement, we have and will continue to review and expand the club-wide well-being support offered to our staff and to increase the learning and development opportunities for all staff around language and culture, welfare and mental health awareness.

“We have also recently strengthened our women’s and girls’ structure with the addition of a new highly experienced head of women’s and girls’ football and other key appointments.

“We wish to offer support to Maddy’s family and the Maddy Cusack Foundation, MC8, and we hope to work with them to continue the lasting positive impact Maddy had on those who knew her.”

A speech said to have been given by Cusack’s mother at a memorial in October read: “The saddest and most utterly heartbreaking reason why I am having to stand here and speak to you today is because of football.

“From February this year, the indomitable, irrepressible spirit, the spirit called Maddy, the spirit that I had so fearlessly protected was allowed to be broken. Taking her away from me.

“Those who knew Maddy well will be aware that she had no long-standing mental health issues or troubles. Not that there would be anything to be ashamed of if there were, but there were not. Those that didn’t know her need to know that.

“Maddy was a happy-go-lucky, carefree girl with everything to live for and by last Christmas could be described as being at her happiest. This all changed gradually from February this year.”

Jonathan Morgan, the head coach of United’s women’s team, was understood to have been the subject of an investigation by the club. It was reported he had stepped away from his duties while an investigation was conducted. The club have been contacted for comment regarding Morgan.

The Maddy Cusack Foundation has been contacted for comment following the club’s statement on Monday.

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