A FOOTBALLER found dead by a cleaner was due to appear at court accused of rape.

Clive Makoni was found at an Airbnb where he had been staying in Kings Somborne outside Winchester on September 9.

However, that same day the 26-year-old had been due to appear at Croydon Magistrates’ Court facing a charge of rape and two other sexual assaults.

The former AFC Bournemouth youth team striker had been charged following an incident involving a woman at the London Bridge Hotel in London on August 18 last year.

It would have been his first court appearance for the case.

The footballer was found hanging but the preliminary cause of his death has been described as unascertained based on a post mortem report.

However, further investigations are being carried out with a full inquest due to take place on May 17 next year.

Tributes previously flooded in for the “talented sportsman” of Burgess Road, Southampton.

A statement from Bournemouth University men’s football said: “Clive was a true role model who will be missed by so many.

“We are devastated to report that former first-team captain Clive Makoni has passed away.

“Clive was not only one of the best footballers that BU has ever seen, he was a great man with a heart of gold."

A statement from Dorchester Town Football Club who Clive previously played for, added: “We were saddened to learn of the passing of former Magpie Clive Makoni.

“Our heartfelt thoughts and condolences are with Clive’s family and friends.”

Bournemouth 7s Festival posted on its Twitter page: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Clive Makoni, a hugely valued member of our festival team."

Meanwhile, players paid their respects during a minute silence for before a match between Fawley AFC and Tadley Calleva.