A retired Bromsgrove footballer died from a brain haemorrhage after a GP and paramedics repeatedly dismissed his symptoms as depression, an inquest has heard.

Colin Jones, 54, died just weeks after going to his GP complaining of feeling unwell and was diagnosed with depression and prescribed with diazepam.

The father-of-three was eventually taken to hospital on Christmas Eve 2017 but a string of delays meant a bleed on his brain was not treated for eight hours.

One member of staff even told his wife and daughter he would have to "wait his turn" because they were busy with other patients.

Tragically, when he was finally transferred to a specialist neurology unit he was brain dead and his family switched off his life support machine.

An inquest heard the former West Bromwich Albion footballer started suffering headaches and slurring his words weeks before his death.

On December 22, his wife Jayne, 55, noticed his face was drooping and dialled 999 and an ambulance was sent to their home in Bromsgrove.

Giving evident at Worcestershire Coroner's Court, she said: "He was holding his head in pain, they were asking him questions but he was really confused.

"They were happy with how he was and thought he had taken too many tablets [diazepam] and he had a headache.

"The paramedic said he was happy that Colin didn't need to be taken to the hospital to be checked over. We were told to just to carry on with the tablets.

"They told us his face was drooped because of the diazepam.

"I got my daughters to stay with him as I had to go to work.

"The next day I had a word with him and asked him if there was anything wrong with him to tell me. He was mumbling and said 'lots to say.'"

The next morning, she was so worried she dialled 999 again and this time her husband was taken on blue lights to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Mrs Jones told the inquest: "We were in the ambulance and the paramedic was looking after him and phoned for resus and I thanked them for listening to me.

"I remember the paramedic saying 'where are the resus [resuscitation team]?' But someone said 'no, just put him over there'.

"Colin was barely conscious, he was grey and cold and wasn't responding.

"I thought he was going to die.

"A young man had come over in a pale blue outfit, he said 'we are very busy'.

"He said we were in a queue and Colin had to wait his turn."

Mrs Jones said eventually CPR was administered and they were ushered into another room where a consultant said they had found a 10cm bleed on Mr Jones's brain and he was to be transferred to a specialist neurology department at University Hospital Coventry .

Mr Jones was admitted at 5pm but by that time he was in a critical condition.

Mrs Jones said: "Everything was moving so fast, a surgeon had told me it was critical and that's when he decided to get rid of the pressure on his brain.

"But unfortunately it was a little bit too late."

Mr Jones, who ran a successful florist business, died on Christmas Eve, 2017, after his family decided to turn off his life support machine.

Dr William Dowley, of New Road Surgery in Bromsgrove where Mr Jones was a patient, said he had diagnosed Mr Jones as having depression in November 2017.

"His symptoms didn't give me any clue [to anything more serious]. I thought it was just depression at the time," he said.

Paramedic Harry de Voil told the inquest he examined Colin Jones on December 23 - the day before he died - and also believed he was suffering from a "mental health problem."

He said: "I had taken into account that he had been seen by his GP in the previous days for depression.

"This led me to believe this was in accordance with the original complaint of mental health.

"I am disappointed that the family feel as though I wasn't listening at the time and at the end of the day it has to be a judgement call based on what you've seen."

Mr Jones's widow, Jayne, told the inquest how she met her husband when he was a 19-year-old footballer, playing for West Bromwich Albion.

He later played in Sweden before returning to the UK to set up a florist which he ran with his wife and the help of their three daughters.

The inquest is due to continue today (Wednesday).