A retired chartered surveyor fell over while trying to stop his golf trolley rolling down a hill and died days later of a head injury, an inquest has heard.

Harold Couch was playing golf at the 11th hole at Denham Golf Club on July 3 when he noticed the trolley with his clubs in was “running away” down a steep slope.

The 84-year-old, who was described as very active and independent, tried to stop it from rolling down the hill but fell forward and hit his head, an inquest into his death at Buckinghamshire Coroner’s Court heard on Wednesday.

A statement from Denham Golf Club general manager Richard Penley-Martin heard that Mr Couch, of Framewood Road in Fulmer, was assessed by a doctor who happened to be playing golf nearby with another group.

It was thought that Mr Couch had not suffered a concussion but the doctor advised him to see him GP.

Mr Penley-Martin’s statement added: “He wasn’t confused, he was very lucid. He told me what had happened.”

There is no evidence Mr Couch did visit his GP at The Hall Practice in the days after his injury.

On July 6 and Mr Couch had returned to the golf course to meet with his group, but mentioned he had a headache, adding that he felt okay to continue.

At the fourth hole, he complained of pain in his right arm and numbness, before collapsing between the sixth and seventh hole.

The emergency services were called, including the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, and it was decided Mr Couch needed to be taken to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington by road vehicle.

Dr Valentina Della Torre from St Mary’s said Mr Couch had suffered a bleed on the brain and was rushed into surgery for a craniectomy – where part of the skull is removed to relieve pressure.

Despite the best efforts of medics, Mr Couch’s condition worsened and in discussions with his family, who said he would not have wanted to depend on anyone, it was decided that he would be given end of life care.

He passed away at St Mary’s on the afternoon of July 23.

Assistant coroner for Buckinghamshire Ian Wade said: “This was all down to the fall on the golf course. Someone must have been looking after Mr Couch because he was still very active at 84.

“He underwent neurosurgery which really was the only option given his very serious condition. Unfortunately he continued to bleed which put pressure on his brain with dreadful consequences.

“Harold was a person of stout determination. He didn’t realise what had happened and didn’t want to make a fuss. When struck down, it was agreed he wouldn’t want to live a dependent life.

“This was an accidental death. There was nothing anyone could have done.”

According to a tribute posted on the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Mr Couch was a trustee who helped grow the organisation in Europe.

He was also reportedly the president of the British Council of Shopping Centres in 1992.

The tribute also described him as “an absolute British gentleman” who will be remembered for his “support and enthusiasm for younger colleagues, his charming personality and great smile”.