Peter Whittingham hit his head and tragically died after falling down a flight of stairs at a pub in a drunken 'play fight' with friends, an inquest heard.
The Cardiff City legend, 35, suffered a traumatic head injury at the Park Hotel in South Wales on March 7, 2020.
He was rushed to hospital but failed to regain consciousness, sadly passing away 11 days later.
Coroner Graeme Hughes recorded a verdict of accidental death at the inquest at Pontypridd Coroner's Court.
"Over the course of the afternoon/evening he has consumed a quantity of alcohol that has likely impacted his demeanour and steadiness," he said.
"Some time after 9.30pm he was in an area near the toilets and adjacent to a fire door leading to a corridor and steps and outside smoking area.
"During a period of horseplay with a friend and relative he appears to have lost his balance and gone through or caused to open the fire door, fallen, and his head has come into contact with the steps."
The hearing was told how Whittingham had been on an all-day drinking session while watching Wales vs. England in the Six Nations.
His brother-in-law Robert Williams said the pair and friend Ryan Taylor had been drinking larger, bitter and tequila during the afternoon and evening.
The former Aston Villa youth player's pal said he fell in the corridor leading to the beer garden.
He told the inquest: "I don't know if there was some sort of horse play but the next thing, I remember was that he fell but I don't know how he got there or how he had fallen.
"I just know he had hit his head on the small step on the stairs.
"I was the first person there and offered him my hand thinking he would just take it and he would get up on his feet.
"When I looked more closely I could see he was not moving and something was wrong."
Whittingham burst onto the scene with Villa before making his name at Cardiff where he helped them win promotion to the Premier League in 2013.
The left-footed maestro finished his career at Blackburn Rovers and played for England under-21s, earning 17 caps.
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