Tragedy for Alan Wells as wife commits suicide

The wife of the former Sussex and England cricketer Alan Wells is believed to have committed suicide, after her body was found at the foot of the South Coast landmark, Beachy Head, on Saturday.

Melanie Wells, 45, is understood to have been suffering from depression for some time. She was seen walking along the cliff-top before disappearing over the edge. Her body was later recovered, while her handbag was found at Birling Head near Beachy Head.

Mr Wells, who lives in nearby Seaford, played for Sussex between 1981 and 1996 - and featured in a solitary Test for England against West Indies at The Oval in 1995. He is said to be devastated at the loss, and a family member told the local newspaper, The Argus, that they would not be making a statement.

The tragedy occurred just hours before Sussex were crowned county champions for the third time in five years. The couple have two sons aged 16 and 11, and Wells currently works as a cricket coach at St Bedes School, near Eastbourne.

An inquest will be opened.