TRIBUTES have poured in from the rugby league family following the death of 26-year-old referee Chris Leatherbarrow.
Former Saints star Apollo Perelini tweeted: “Really sad news of Chris Leatherbarrow @SuperLeague referee. I still remember when he first started. R.I.P Chris”
RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood, said: “We are all truly shocked and saddened by the news of Chris Leatherbarrow’s untimely death.
“This is a dreadful tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with Chris’ family, friends and colleagues at this terrible time.”
Saints star Alex Walmsley tweeted: “Life is too precious. Cherish every moment and be grateful of every second you get to spend with the people you love. RIP Chris”
Fellow referee Richard Silverwood tweeted: “Truly gutted. I’ll never forget the week we had on our Pre Season camp to Lanzarote. Gone too soon. RIP Chris x”
He leaves a four-year-old daughter Daisy and partner Nicola. No details have been given about the cause of death.
St Helens RL issued a statement which read: “Saints are saddened and shocked to hear of the passing away of Chris Leatherbarrow.
“Chris was well known to the club having refereed our matches and been an integral part of the match officials team. He is also from St Helens.
“Our sincerest and heartfelt sympathies are sent to all Chris’ family and friends.
“Once again, this is time for the Rugby League family to come together and not only pay tribute but be strong for everyone. We have no doubt it will.”