‘Full of fun’ British father-of-four, 55, tragically killed in a paragliding accident in the French Alps suffered ‘multiple injuries’, inquest hears

  • Martin Dyer, 55, died in a paragliding accident near Annecy, France on July 14
  • Inquest adjourned due to a lack of information from the French authorities
  • Tributes described the ex-Ipswich Town goalkeeper as ‘full of fun and laughter’ 

Martin Dyer, 55, of Ruthin, North Wales, died in a paragliding accident near Annecy in eastern France in July

A British father-of-four was killed by ‘multiple injuries’ in a paragliding accident in France, an inquest has heard.

Former football player and nightclub doorman Martin Dyer, 55, of Ruthin, North Wales, died while pursuing his love of paragliding in the Alps.

The ex-Ipswich Town player, described as ‘full of fun and laughter’, was flying around Talloires-Montmin near Annecy in eastern France on July 14 when tragedy struck.

Senior coroner for North Wales John Gittins said no post-mortem examination was carried out in France but he was told Mr Dyer had multiple injuries.

He said he had received few details from the French authorities about the circumstances of his death and had to adjourn the inquest to a date to be fixed until he had further information.  

At the time of his death, his family said: ‘We are all truly heartbroken to have lost our Dad.

‘He was full of life and laughter and would drop everything in an instant if any of us needed him. 

 The inquest heard that the father-of-four was killed by ‘multiple injuries’ but it had to be adjourned due to insufficient information from the French authorities

Relatives paid tribute to Mr Dyer, who they said ‘was a very funny man and was always spreading joy to others’

‘He encouraged us in everything we did, and made us believe we could achieve anything we put our minds to.

‘The hole he leaves behind in our lives will be felt by so many, as he was loved by so many. He was a very funny man and was always spreading joy to others. 

‘Although our hearts are heavy the memories we have shared will live on forever.’

A qualified joiner and carpenter, Mr Dyer was a dad to four children – Beth, Grace, Johan and Theo.

He was well-known around the Ruthin and Denbigh area, having been a football manager at Ruthin Town Reserves and also manager of the Llangynhafal Summer League side for many years.

Paragliding was ‘in his blood’, said Louise Rafferty who used to join Mr Dyer on his ‘flying adventures’

In a post on Twitter, Llangynhafal FC said: ‘We are devastated to hear of the passing of club legend, Martin Dyer.

‘As a player, then as a manager, Martin was a true stalwart of the club.

‘We will forever be grateful for all the time he devoted to the team.

‘He was a great presence to have around, both on and off the pitch.

‘Our thoughts are with all his family and friends during this difficult time. Rest easy Martin.’

Mr Dyer’s devastated nephew Tom also paid tribute: ‘Uncle Martin, one of the strongest men I knew. So many great memories will live on with me forever. RIP mate.’

Mr Dyer was a qualified joiner and carpenter and used to play as a goalkeeper for Ipswich Town

Martin’s former employer and close friend Russ Williams, who owns gyms in Caerwys and Wrexham, said: ‘It’s a massive shock – he was one of the best lads in Ruthin.

‘He was just a great guy and everyone he knew had so much respect for him. 

 ‘Martin was such a highly skilled joiner and would drop anything to come and help me with any jobs I needed doing at home or at my gyms.

Martin Dyer (left) was well known around the Ruthin and Denbigh area, having been a football manager at Ruthin Town Reserves and also manager of the Llangynhafal Summer League side for many years

What is paragliding? 

Paragliding is described as being the closest you can come to experiencing what it feels like to fly.

First performed by the U.S. military in the 1950s, paragliding began to grow in popularity in the 1970s and 80s.

The pilot sits in a harness which is suspended by a large, curved fabric wing.

Despite having no engine, paraglider flights can last many hours and cover hundreds of kilometres. 

Pilots launch themselves by running and jumping and shift their body weight and use the handles next to their shoulders to control their direction and speed.

 ‘Even before he flew out to France, he was working late at my house despite having an early morning flight – that’s just a flavour of the sort of man he was.’

Louise Rafferty said she had lost her ‘paragliding wing man’. 

‘Martin Dyer was a very close friend of mine and my paragliding flying partner,’ she said. ‘He absolutely loved flying, it was in his blood. He was one of a kind, a true gentleman. 

‘I will miss our flying adventures but I have so many fond memories to hold on to. Thank you Martin.’

Barry Williams said he was ‘absolutely heartbroken’ to have lost ‘one of my all-time best friends’.

He added: ‘Martin lived life to the full, always smiling and one of the funniest people ever. 

‘Even after crashing into Mount Snowdon while paragliding a few years ago and breaking his back he joked: “I hit Snowdon that hard it’s three inches smaller than it used to be”.

‘That summed up his character. Thinking of all his family.’

Paragliding was Martin’s main passion, but he was also a very talented goalkeeper who had a spell with Ipswich Town in the 1980s.

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