The secret life of a popular local sportsman was revealed when he was found hanged in his garage.
Peter Close, 39, was apparently happy and looking forward to his 40th birthday, his forthcoming second marriage and the possibility of IVF treatment to start another family.
But an inquest heard that despite appearances, things weren’t as they seemed.
After being made redundant from his job as a skilled engineer at the Vulcan works in Newton-le-Willows, Mr Close told his partner Jacqueline Kavanagh that he had a job at the Homestyle store in Wigan.
But, in reality, the job had only lasted a few days before Mr Close told bosses at the firm that it “wasn’t for him.”
Ms Kavanagh said she had no idea until police told her after his death that Peter hadn’t actually continued with the job at Homestyle.
He left home every morning at the same time as if reporting for duty at the DIY store.
She said: “He told me that he really enjoyed it and was very comfortable with his work colleagues there.”
The inquest was told that the tragedy unfolded at tea time on April 25, when Mr Close was discovered by Ms Kavanagh hanged in their garage.
Despite frantic attempts at resuscitation, medics were unable to re-start his heart.
Mr Close left no letter or note and had never suggested or threatened suicide. He was sober and had no prescription drugs in his blood which could have altered his state of mind.
But the coroner, Jennifer Leeming, heard that Mr Close, of Heywood Avenue, Golborne, had previously been seen with a red mark around his neck, similar to that which could have been caused by a ligature.
She said: “A mark was seen around his neck on a previous occasion as if he had experimented with something - could this have been a similar experiment?”
Mrs Leeming said that there was no evidence to suggest suicide, and instead recorded the cause of death as hanging - and an open verdict.