A SEEMINGLY fit man died suddenly doing what he loved when he suffered a heart attack while cycling along the canal in Llangollen.

An inquest into the death of Liam Walker, 51, heard that his body was found face down in the canal on the morning of August 13 last year.

Mr Walker, of Cefn Mawr, was a keen cyclist and was known to ride his bike regularly before work, often riding up to Dinas Bran castle or along the canal in Llangollen.

Other than setting out a little later than usual, because he had the day off work as a builder following his birthday the day before and ahead of a weekend away, he was following his usual routine.

He was seen riding down the hill by his neighbour Craig Shafter who was travelling to Dinas Bran to take photographs of the sunrise.

Mr Shafer described Mr Walker as "a fit 51-year-old" and "a lovely neighbour and friend", adding that their chats over the garden fence of their neighbouring properties in King Street had made lockdown more bearable.

"He will be very much missed," he said in a statement read to Mr Walker's brother Michael and sister Angela at the inquest.

On that morning, Mr Walker's orange hi vis vest was spotted in the canal by Godfrey Wyn Williams who was out walking his dogs.

The inquest heard that, when he saw that there was a man face down in the canal, Mr Wyn Williams attempted to lift him out. He then woke the occupants of a canal boat and the police were called.

PC Joel Darlington described receiving the report of an unconscious male in the canal. He collected the defibrillator from Johnstown Fire Station before walking along the towpath from the Bryn Howell Hotel towards Llangollen.

With the help of another officer, Mr Walker was pulled out of the canal and both officers performed CPR to no avail.

An inquest was opened as there was suspicion that Mr Walker may have suffered an accident.

However, a postmortem examination found that he had no injuries consistent with a fall, had no drugs and a tiny amount of alcohol in his urine, and had suffered a fatal heart attack.

Recording a conclusion of natural causes, Assistant Coroner for North Wales (East and Central) David Lewis told Mr Walker's family that he hoped it was some comfort that he had died doing what he loved to do.

He added: "I'm sure this was a very sudden and short-lived event."