British ex-world judo champion Craig Fallon, 36, is found dead on East Shropshire hillside

Former British world judo champion Craig Fallon has been found dead on a hillside after being reported missing by his family.

The 36-year-old’s body was found in east Shropshire after a police hunt was launched on Sunday.

Police said a body was found at The Wrekin in the early hours of Monday morning.

The cause of death has not yet been revealed, however, West Mercia Police said no third party is believed to be involved and added the coroner had also been informed. 

He leaves behind a partner and son. The cause of death has not been revealed. 

Fallon was the last British judoka to win a world title, doing so in the -60 kilograms class in Cairo in 2005, and is one of only two British men, alongside Neil Adams, to be world and European champion at the same time. 

Former world judo champion and Team GB star Craig Fallon has died at the age of 36

Former world judo champion and Team GB star Craig Fallon has died at the age of 36

Former world judo champion and Team GB star Craig Fallon has died at the age of 36

Fallon was the last British judoka to win a world title, in the -60kg class in Cairo in 2005

Fallon was the last British judoka to win a world title, in the -60kg class in Cairo in 2005

Fallon was the last British judoka to win a world title, in the -60kg class in Cairo in 2005

He also won the Commonwealth title for England in 2002 and finished seventh at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 before retiring three years later.  

At the age of 29 Fallon had quit the sport and decided to become a coach. From there he then went on the manage Austria’s national squad. 

He started his judo career at the Wolverhampton Judo Club, then at the age of 14 he moved to the Hardy Spicer Judo Club in Birmingham. 

As well as this he trained full-time as part of the National Academy at Bisham Abbey and alongside Neil Adams, become the second man to hold both world and European titles.  

After becoming world champion Fallon won the 2006 European championships in Finland

After becoming world champion Fallon won the 2006 European championships in Finland

After becoming world champion Fallon won the 2006 European championships in Finland

British Judo performance director Nigel Donohue said in a statement released by the governing body: ‘It is with great shock to hear of the passing of Craig.

‘Firstly, Craig is a son and father, as well as an outstanding Judo fighter of his generation in world Judo.

‘Craig was a fantastic ambassador for British Judo and is our most successful athlete in the modern era of world judo and the most talented judoka that I have ever had the pleasure to watch competing for Great Britain, where he became a European and world champion.

Luke Preston tweeted that it was an 'honour' to have known Craig and referred to him as a 'judo genius'

Luke Preston tweeted that it was an 'honour' to have known Craig and referred to him as a 'judo genius'

Luke Preston tweeted that it was an ‘honour’ to have known Craig and referred to him as a ‘judo genius’ 

Another Twitter user, going by the name Jordan said Craig was a 'hero' and that he would be missed

Another Twitter user, going by the name Jordan said Craig was a 'hero' and that he would be missed

Another Twitter user, going by the name Jordan said Craig was a ‘hero’ and that he would be missed

After learning of the news of Craig's death Gabriel Leigh said: 'RIP Craig Fallon. Gone far too young'

After learning of the news of Craig's death Gabriel Leigh said: 'RIP Craig Fallon. Gone far too young'

After learning of the news of Craig’s death Gabriel Leigh said: ‘RIP Craig Fallon. Gone far too young’

‘He will be greatly missed by his family and the judo world, which has lost a talented athlete and coach. 

Craig’s family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers at this very sad time.’

Other tributes came pouring in on social media today, with many hailing him as a hero. 

FALLON FACTFILE

D.O.B – 18 December 1982

Hometown: Ipswich, Suffolk

Career high: World judo champion 2005, Cairo Egypt

Honours

2006 European champion in Tampere, Finland in the -60 kg weight category.

2007 Men’s World Cup winner in the -60 kg, Birmingham.

2012, inducted into the Wolverhampton Sporting Hall of Fame.

2017, appointed head coach of the Federal Judo Association of Vorarlberg, Austria.

2019, appointed Head of Coaching with the Welsh Judo Association. 

One user tweeted: ‘RIP Craig Fallon you will be missed #hero’.

This is while another wrote: ‘RIP Craig Fallon. Gone far too young’. 

The head coach of Camberley Judo Club said that it had been an ‘honour’ to have known Craig. 

Luke Preston said: ‘A privilege to have had him as a member of @CamberleyJC. A Judo genius with a heart of gold. We will all miss him greatly.’ 

Fallon took up coaching following his retirement and, after a spell in Austria, was appointed head coach of the Welsh Judo Association (WJA) in March.

Darren Warner, chief executive of the WJA, said: ‘We are deeply saddened by the recent loss of our head of coaching, Craig Fallon.

‘Our heartfelt sympathies are with his family during this difficult time. He was only with the organisation for a short time but was a joy to work with and will be sorely missed.’

His former coach Fitzroy Davis added: ‘knowing Craig from the age of 15, I can look back on our time working together with fond memories and fun times.

‘At the pinnacle of his career, winning the World Championships in Cairo in 2005, he was one of the true greats of British judo.

Following his career in competition Fallon took up coaching and worked in Austria and Wales

Following his career in competition Fallon took up coaching and worked in Austria and Wales

Following his career in competition Fallon took up coaching and worked in Austria and Wales

Fallon has been named by his former coach as one of the finest ever Judo talents of Britain

Fallon has been named by his former coach as one of the finest ever Judo talents of Britain

Fallon has been named by his former coach as one of the finest ever Judo talents of Britain

‘His dedication to the sport he loved will stay with me forever and I will cherish the time we spent together.

‘Craig will be a huge loss to the sport, but I hope his achievements and his incredible story will inspire future generations to come.’

Fallon coached in Austria for two years before being named head coach of the Welsh Judo Association in March.  

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