A "fit and healthy" teacher dropped dead during cricket practice with the same undiagnosed heart condition that almost claimed the life of England batsman James Taylor, an inquest heard.

Talented sportsman Ryan Tilley, 28, was batting in the nets at Christ’s School in Richmond when he suddenly stumbled backwards, the hearing was told.

The teacher and former male model had no idea he had the potentially deadly heart defect, the inquest heard.

Members of Richmond Cricket Club had at first thought he had fainted, the hearing was told.

But when he began fitting they thought he was having an epileptic fit and did not give him CPR, the inquest heard.

Despite efforts by paramedics Leicestershire lad Ryan, who was teaching maths at Marylebone Boys’ School in central London, never regained consciousness.

A post-mortem concluded he had suffered Sudden Adult Death caused by arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, or AVRC.

Richmond Cricket club member Sam Gibbs, the only person with First Aid training, said Ryan was batting well on February 25 last year before he collapsed.

Mr Gibbs, who had not met Ryan before, said: “He was batting and had faced a small number of deliveries. He appeared to be batting well, he didn’t seem distressed.

“He had started to move into a batting position, then he fell backwards into the net.

“It quickly became clear that something was wrong as Ryan had not moved or said anything in the few seconds after his collapse.

“It was clear that Ryan was not well, and although he was breathing was unconscious.

“James began to administer first aid, checking for responsiveness, while others helped by removing his cricket pads, helmet, and gloves, and clearing the area around him as much as possible.”

Paramedics arrived about five minutes after being called by Mr Gibbs, but were unable to resuscitate him, the inquest heard.

The results of two post-mortems found Ryan had died from ARVC and that his heart was “abnormal” and the right ventricle was “floppy”.

Professor Mary Sheppard, a cardiovascular pathologist, said: “This is a recognised cause of sudden cardiac death and cardiac failure and is of familial origin in 50 to 80 per cent of cases."

“Males with the disease typically can die during exertion and it is a well known cause of sudden death in sports.”

Christ’s School business manager John Edwards told the inquest that nobody from the cricket club knew where the defibrillator was kept.

He said the school now makes sure “all renters” are aware of where it is.

Mr Edwards said: “Ryan’s death has definitely raised our awareness and raised our intent to manage it in a definitive way going forward.”

Nick Pryde, the ECB's interim director of participation, said £1 million will be spent on distributing defibrillators to around 6,500 recreational cricket clubs.

Ryan's parents Suna and Dave Tilley, in a statement read by the Coroner, said: “He was remarkable in so many ways, not least for being a complete and unassuming gentleman, having a smile that lit up any room.

“His loss has left a huge, devastating and irreplaceable hole in the lives of his family, his girlfriend, his friends and so many more people.

“We couldn’t believe our luck that we had two amazing sons.

“Ryan was not only a son, but so much more. He was unassuming and modest. His smile and sense of humour were infectious.”

The inquest continues.