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Former world and European judo champion Craig Fallon dies aged 36

Last updated 11 months ago | By Mirror

Fallon with his gold medal at the World Championship in 2005 [Courtesy]

Former European and world judo champion Craig Fallon has died aged 36.

Fallon won the 60kg final at the 2005 World Championships before claiming gold at the 2006 European Championships and the 2007 World Cup.

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He is the last British judoka to win a world crown and only the third British man in history.

Fallon also won Commonwealth gold in 2002 and competed at the Olympics in 2004 and 2008 before his retirement in 2011.

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He was found dead on The Wrekin, a hill in East Shropshire, and police say there are no suspicious circumstances.

"Knowing Craig from the age of 15, I can look back on our time working together with fond memories and fun times," said his former coach Fitzroy Davis.

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"At the pinnacle of his career, winning the World Championships in Cairo in 2005, he was one of the true greats of British judo.

Fallon in action at the 2008 Beijing Olympics [Courtesy]

"His dedication to the sport he loved will stay with me forever and I will cherish the time we spent together.

"Craig will be a huge loss to the sport, but I hope his achievements and his incredible story will inspire future generations to come."

Fallon was named head coach of the Welsh Judo Association in March after coaching in Austria for two years.

Fallon beat Akram Shah to win Commonwealth gold [Courtesy]

British Judo performance director Nigel Donohue said: "It is with great shock to hear of the passing of Craig.

"Firstly, Craig is a son and father, as well as an outstanding judo fighter of his generation.

"Craig was a fantastic ambassador for British judo and is our most successful athlete in the modern era of world judo."