Maddy Cusack’s mother says football ‘broke daughter's spirit’ as Sheffield United to launch probe into her death aged 27

28 November 2023, 09:21 | Updated: 28 November 2023, 09:25

Maddy's family released a statement on Monday.
Maddy's family released a statement on Monday. Picture: Instagram

By Jenny Medlicott

The family of Maddy Cusack has said her ’spirit was broken’ as they confirm Sheffield United is launching an investigation into the events around her death.

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Maddy Cusack died aged 27 in her Horsley, Derbyshire home on September 20.

The midfielder had not long been named vice-captain of Sheffield United and had just started her sixth year with the Blades when she died.

She joined the team in January 2019 and became the first woman to reach 100 appearances for the club last season.

Now her family has confirmed Sheffield United is to launch an investigation into events they believe may have contributed to her death.

In a post shared by Maddy’s mother, Deborah, which was also read at the 27-year-old’s memorial service in October, she said: “My beautiful daughter, Madeleine. The saddest and most utterly heart-breaking 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 we had so fiercely protected, was allowed to be broken, taking her away from me.”

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A family statement confirmed the club is launching a probe.
A family statement confirmed the club is launching a probe. Picture: Instagram
Her family paid tribute to Maddy.
Her family paid tribute to Maddy. Picture: Instagram

An additional statement from Maddy’s family also confirmed that Sheffield United will investigate the events surrounding her death.

“Those who knew Maddy well will be aware that she had no long-standing mental health issues or troubles,” it read.

“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, care-free girl with everything to live for and last Christmas could be described as being at her happiest.

“This all changed gradually from February this year.

“It is no secret, nor should it be, that Sheffield United has agreed, at the request of Maddy’s family, to carry out a thorough external investigation into the events that her family believes contributed significantly to her passing at the tender age of 27.

“The Maddy Cusack Foundation — Fierce, Determined and Spirited.”

At the time of her death, Derbyshire Police confirmed it was not being treated as suspicious in a statement.

It read: "We were called to a property in Lady Lea Road, Horsley, just after 6.35pm on Wednesday September 20.

"A woman, in her 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene."Her family are aware and are being supported by specialist officers.

"Her death is not being treated as suspicious, and a file is being prepared for the coroner."