A DEVOTED dad died when he fell down the stairs at home after a night out with friends watching his beloved Man United.

Shipyard worker Mark Smyth had been out in Barrow with friends on Saturday May 19 after his childhood pals had visited his home to watch the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Man United.

The group headed first to the Tally Ho, then the Duke of Edinburgh, the Townhouse, the Knights and the Theatre Bar before calling it a night, an inquest heard.

Mr Smyth, 45, shared a taxi to his Beech Street home with his pal David Pooley after the pair got a Chinese takeaway from the Yungnien. Mr Pooley was the last person to see his friend alive.

Two days later on the Monday morning Mr Smyth’s boss at the shipyard contacted his family when he failed to turn up for work.

Son Matthew and ex-partner Miss Evans went to his house but the door was locked. Matthew peered through the letterbox and spotted his dad lying motionless at the bottom of the stairs.

PC Michael Bellamy was one of the first officers at the scene where the decision was made to force entry into the house.

An inquest at Barrow Town Hall heard Mr Smyth was not breathing and had blood coming from his nose and ear. He was wearing the same clothes he had worn to go out on the Saturday night.

PC Bellamy said in a statement: “His iPhone had several messages and Facebook notifications on it. It appeared the last time he had unlocked his phone was 11.53pm on Saturday.”

In a tragic twist, Mr Smyth’s death came just weeks after separating from his partner of more than 20 years Jane Evans, mum to their 20-year-old son Matthew.

“Although we had decided to separate we remained really good friends,” she said.

“He was such good fun, he was a comedian and made me laugh. He was happy, loving and he was a family-orientated person.”

A post mortem revealed Mr Smyth suffered multiple skull fractures after hitting his head on the concrete floor at the bottom of the stairs.

Assistant coroner Paul O’Donnell concluded Mr Smyth died “as a result of a tragic accident” after falling down his stairs while intoxicated.