Nottingham Forest owner Nigel Doughty died of natural causes

Nottingham Forest owner Nigel Doughty died of natural causes, an inquest has found.

Mr Doughty, 54, was found dead in the gym at his home in Skillington, Lincolnshire, on 4 February.

Mr Doughty, who put more than £100m into the Championship club, resigned as chairman in October 2011 at the same time as manager Steve McClaren quit.

The inquest in Grantham heard Mr Doughty suffered a cardiac arrest and there were no suspicious circumstances.

Paul Smith, the assistant deputy coroner for Central Lincolnshire, heard Mr Doughty told his family members he was going to work out in the gym at about noon but was found "collapsed and lifeless" about an hour later.

The coroner heard Mr Doughty, who was born in Park Village, east London, had "very satisfactory" results from an annual check-up in July 2011.

He did not smoke, was a moderate drinker and exercised regularly, the inquest heard.

'Extremely painful'

Post-mortem tests revealed he had died after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest, and the cause of death was sudden adult death syndrome.

His wife Lucy and daughter Helen attended the inquest.

A spokesman for the Doughty family said: "Nigel's sudden and unexpected death was a huge shock to his family and the past three months have been extremely painful.

"We are therefore very glad that the coroner's findings have put an end to the uncertainty over the cause of death.

"Comfort has also come from the enormous amount of support and sympathy exhibited over this difficult time by family and friends, colleagues and members of the public."

Mr Doughty saved Nottingham Forest from administration when he bought the club for £11m in 1999.

Forest faced the threat of relegation for much of the 2011-12 season but eventually finished 10 points clear of the drop.

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