A WELL-respected construction director travelled the world on a “bucket list” of holiday destinations shortly before his death.

An inquest heard that Sean O’Connor — who worked on major projects including the Reebok Stadium and the Olympic Stadium — thought he may have had a life-threatening illness such as cancer which is why he travelled so widely in the six months up to his death.

But Mr O’Connor, aged 48, who had lost a lot of weight, did not have cancer and a pathologist revealed his death had been due to an alcohol-related disease.

Mr O’Connor, a father-of-three, worked as director of construction for Watson Steel and was so highly regarded that when he started to suffer from anxiety and depression was put on "gardening leave" in the hope he would return to his job.

His wife Lucinda, from whom he was separated, said that when they were together Mr O’Connor would drink to unwind after a day at work.

She said she discovered Mr O’Connor was suffering from anxiety and depression from her daughter.

“My daughter told me she’d spoken to him when she was visiting him,” said Mrs O’Connor.

Mr O’Connor was seen getting out of a taxi and going into his home in Heathfield, Farnworth, on Saturday, August 10, this year by a neighbour who was worried about him.

Ian Shakeshaft spoke to another neighbour and asked him to “keep an eye” on Mr O’Connor who seemed unsteady on his feet.

That evening a concerned Mr Shakeshaft went to the back door of Mr O’Connor’s home. He saw him slumped in a chair and rang the police who gained entry through a window.

Mr O’Connor was found dead sitting in the chair with the television switched on.

Pathologist Dr Patrick Waugh revealed Mr O’Connor had died as a result of alcohol ketoacidosis.

Area coroner Alan Walsh said Mr O’Connor was not an alcoholic and was possibly visiting various countries in the months up to his death because he thought his weight loss was as a result of a serious condition.

He said: “He was not drinking in the day or the afternoon. That wasn’t his lifestyle but he would have a drink in the evening to unwind which may well have increased as he became ill with anxiety and depression.

“I will not record he was an alcoholic because I don’t believe he was an alcoholic.”

He said that Mr O’Connor should be remembered for his incredible achievements in helping to build important stadia and venues and recorded that he died an “alcohol related death”.