South Yorkshire stalwart Brian Bradley and wife died in ‘tragic’ accident

Brian and Judith Bradley
Brian and Judith Bradley

A popular South Yorkshire football stalwart is likely to have suffered a ‘medical episode’ when he and his wife of more than 50 years died in a car accident, an inquest heard.

Brian Bradley, who was known as the ‘Voice of Doncaster Rovers,’ and his wife, Judith, died when the car he was driving veered off the motorway and then hit a tree.

Dad idolised mum, he could not have lived without her. Mum was quiet, she supported everybody else

Daughter, Jane Alice Green

An inquest at Doncaster Coroner’s Court heard Brian, aged 76, of Firth Park, Sheffield, unknowingly had a disorder called hypertensive heart disease – which could have caused him to become light-headed or suffer heart problems.

One of the couple’s two devastated daughters, Jane Alice Green, paid tribute to her ‘loving’ parents in a statement read at the inquest.

She said: “Dad idolised mum, he could not have lived without her.

“Mum was the quiet one, she supported everybody else.”

Brian, who was BBC Radio Sheffield’s voice at Belle Vue during the majority of Rovers’ Conference era, was driving his white VW polo to Retford on the afternoon on Thursday July 2. Judith, aged 77, a retired cleaner, was in the front passenger seat.

Jane told Doncaster Coroner’s Court the couple travelled to nearby towns from their home, on Hinde House Crescent, every Thursday to enjoy lunch together.

CCTV footage shows the couple were travelling on the M1 northbound between junction 33 for Rotherham and 34 for Meadowhall when, at around 1.45pm, the car drifted across all three lanes. The car continued travelling across the hard shoulder and on to the grass verge, before disappearing from view.

Mr Bradley, who had been travelling within the 70mph speed limit, did not appear to make an attempt to slow down or brake. The footage also showed the car was being driven carefully prior to the accident.

Dr Ian Richmond told the inquest a post mortem revealed that Brian, who suffered from type two diabetes and high blood pressure, had hypertensive heart disease.

Recording a verdict of road traffic collision, Assistant Coroner Mark Beresford said: “Mr Bradley was an experienced and careful driver. It’s difficult to imagine he would not have taken steps to stop this tragic incident.

“On the balance of probability, it is my opinion that he suffered a medical episode as a result of underlying hypertensive heart disease.

“This most likely resulted in loss of consciousness or control, but it’s impossible to say exactly what happened.”