Steve Prescott, the former Saint who inspired hundreds of thousands of people by his courageous battle against cancer, has died.
The 39-year-old had spent the past few weeks in a hospital in the Midlands where he had been receiving treatment for a rare type of stomach cancer.
He died on Saturday at around 3am.
Countless well-wishers, including former Saint Leon Pryce, have taken to Twitter to pay their respects to the ex-St Helens, Hull FC and Wakefield ace.
In recent weeks, his condition had deteriorated and he had suffered two bouts of pneumonia.
Born and bred in St Helens, Prekkie, as he was affectionately known, was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and told he had only months to live.
But he astounded doctors but continuing to fight the disease and then undergoing a series of charity challenges to raise cash for the foundation he established in his name.
RFL chief executive Nigel Wood said: “It is with deep sadness that we have learned of the death of Steve Prescott. Our thoughts are with his family at this terribly sad time.
“The word ‘hero’ is overused in sport but Steve was just that: a role model for every young Rugby League player during his distinguished playing career and an absolute inspiration to all of us off the field.
“Throughout his long illness Steve was never anything other than dignified, noble and brave, not least during his fantastic charity work through the Steve Prescott Foundation which raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes, including the Rugby League Benevolent Fund.
“Steve touched on the lives of a great many people and enriched both Rugby League and the whole of sport with his engaging personality, unselfish efforts and his stoicism in the face of such an aggressive and cruel illness.
“We are all very fortunate to have been associated with Steve. He is going to be much missed.”