Lifelong Oxford United stalwart George Bateman died after having difficulties with his food at a care home, it emerged yesterday.

An inquest was opened at Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court after Mr Bateman died last Thursday at Manor House care home in Bicester.

Coroner Darren Salter said Mr Bateman, 96, had advanced vascular dementia, and recorded difficulties with eating.

On the day of his death, staff went to feed him at 5.40pm and he began experiencing breathing difficulties.

The carers checked his airways but he went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at 6.07pm.

The inquest was adjourned for more evidence to be collected, and is expected to be take place on August 21.