England Boxing statement following Ed Bilbey inquest

December 23, 2020 | by Matt Halfpenny


England Boxing has issued a statement following the conclusion of the inquest into the death of Ed Bilbey.

The boxer, from Ripley, Derbyshire, tragically lost his life aged 17 after competing for an East Midlands Youth welterweight title in South Normanton on 24th March 2017.

The inquest started last Monday (15th December) at Chesterfield Coroners’ Court and concluded today (23rd December) and returned a narrative conclusion that stated: “Edward Bilbey died of Cardiac Arrest and the combined effect of an inherited heart [condition] Myocardial Fibrosis and metabolic disturbance caused by intense physical training and rapid weight loss by dehydration. His death was in part contributed to by a failure to have adequate safeguarding and child protection measures in place to prevent him from doing so.”

“First and foremost, our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Ed Bilbey, who continue to live with the tragic loss of someone dear to them and who had his whole life ahead of him,” said Chief Executive Officer Gethin Jenkins, in the statement.

“We acknowledge the coroner’s conclusion and have already made significant changes in the three-and-half years since the tragedy, to seek to make the sport as safe as it possibly can be.

“Emergency medical procedures and processes that should be followed when significant incidents do occur are now in place, although, thankfully, these remain rare. We have also introduced coaching refresher courses to ensure our registered coaches are aware of the appropriate, up-to-date coaching methods to follow.

“We will now complete our investigation and carefully look at what lessons, in light of the coroner’s conclusions, that can be made and will speedily review the regulations, checks and balances that are in place to ensure safety and safeguarding policies and good practice within clubs is in place, adhered to and, where necessary, make the relevant changes.

“The amateur boxing that operates within England Boxing’s remit has an excellent safety record on the whole, and this was the first tragedy of its type in this country for over 30 years, but we recognise that any fatality is one too many.

“It is why the welfare of boxers remains for England Boxing and those in our membership our number one priority, only allowing boxing to take place in a safe, controlled and regulated environment.

“Once again, we send our heartfelt condolences to the family and all those who knew Ed Bilbey.”