A FATHER and sportsman from Cirencester took his own life in September last year after battling depression for nearly two decades, an inquest heard today.

Paul Rowley, 48, was found dead in his Bingham Close home by two friends on September 30, 2014.

A well-known and popular man, he was a keen cricketer and chairman of Lechlade Cricket Club at the time of his death. He was the father of one daughter, Darcie.

In a statement to the inquest, held at Gloucester Coroner’s Court on January 29, PC Richard Parker said officers had arrived at Mr Rowley's home in the evening of September 30 to find the front door open with two very distressed men sitting on the stairs.

Mr Rowley was found hanging in his home. Police searched the house but could not find a suicide note. They did, however, find many notes with positive messages on, which coincided with his depression treatment.

Gloucestershire psychiatrist Dr Ed Robson said in a statement that Mr Rowley was first in contact with a psychiatrist in 1996 after he had begun to have suicidal thoughts. He went back in 1998 and again in 2014. He was not sleeping, said he had low moods brought on by stress at work, and had lost weight.

He was put on anti-depressants and was visited by a community psychiatric nurse.

On September 23 last year he was reported by Dr Robson to be significantly depressed. Mr Rowley made it clear he wanted to continue the treatment at home and not hospital. He also thought daily visits by the nurse were intrusive so these were stopped.

Gloucestershire coroner Katy Skerrett said Mr Rowley was expecting not to be disturbed on the day he died.

"What is clear is that this gentleman had a long history of depression," she said. "He also had a history of remission but he was on medication. He was working with his GP and psychiatrist to get on top of it but it is clear that tragically his depression got the better of him."

She concluded: "I do find that this gentleman intended to take his own life."