A FORMER Dorchester Town footballer who took his own life was found dead on the day he was due to appear in court to face a rape allegation.

Clive Makoni, 26, of Burgess Road, Southampton, was found hanged at a Airbnb he was renting in Kings Somborne on September 9 last year.

South London Magistrates' Court confirmed that on the day he was found dead, the 26-year-old had been due to face a charge of rape and two other sexual assaults.

The former AFC Bournemouth youth team and Dorchester Town striker was charged following an alleged incident involving a woman at the London Bridge Hotel in 2019.

Area coroner Jason Pegg said Mr Makoni's body was found by a cleaner.

A post -mortem examination showed he was more than twice the drink-drive limit. He also had a low level of cocaine in his blood from previous recreational use.

The nature of the allegation made against Mr Makoni was not referred to at the inquest.

His girlfriend, Bethany Young, said they had been together for four years but split up a few days before he was due to appear in court.

She said the allegation made him had been under investigation for a year and had a "massive" impact on him.

"Clive said he didn't know what had happened because there was alcohol involved."

Miss Young said Mr Makoni indicated that he intended to plead guilty to spare his friends and family the ordeal of seeing him stand trial.

Mr Pegg said Mr Makoni and Miss Young spoke on the phone on the morning he died but there was nothing in particular that alerted her to the way he was feeling.

But he added: "I'm satisfied he took his own life and intended to do so."

He recorded a conclusion of suicide.

Mr Makoni was a former AFC Bournemouth youth team striker.

In a statement issued after his death Bournemouth University men’s football said: “Clive was a true role model who will be missed by so many.

“We are devastated to report that former first-team captain Clive Makoni has passed away.

“Clive was not only one of the best footballers that BU has ever seen, he was a great man with a heart of gold.

A statement from Dorchester Town Football Club who Clive previously played for, added: “We were saddened to learn of the passing of former Magpie Clive Makoni.

“Our heartfelt thoughts and condolences are with Clive’s family and friends.”

Bournemouth 7s Festival posted on its Twitter page: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Clive Makoni, a hugely valued member of our festival team.

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