The rugby league community is mourning the loss of a “beautiful soul” after Liam Hampson died while on an end of season trip in Spain.
The Redcliffe Queensland Cup hooker had been in Europe for several weeks with a group of NRL players including Gold Coast star AJ Brimson and Brisbane’s Jordan Riki and Jesse Arthars.
Concerns were first raised for the 24-year-old when Arthars and others posted on social media that he had not been seen for 24 hours after last being spotted at the Sala Apollo nightclub.
Barcelona police confirmed to 7 News on Thursday morning AEDT that a body believed to be that of Hampson was found on a nightclub floor, after a fall from a substantial height.
His father Brett confirmed Hampson’s death on social media.
“Waking up to the news no one wants to hear, we are devastated to find out that Liam had an accident and sadly has not survived,” he wrote on Facebook.
“We are heartbroken to say the least. Liam had a heart of gold and was a much loved son, brother, grandson, uncle and friend. Words can not express our grief.
“We can not thank his mates enough for being there with Liam having the time of his life and assisting in the search for our boy. Our thoughts are with them.
“We are asking the media to respect our privacy as we work through this time.”
Earlier, Arthars had posted that Hampson had not been seen since 4:30am on 18 October, wearing a black T-shirt and beige shorts.
“…hasnt been able to be contacted and no one has seen him for 24 hours … was travelling with a group and very out of character ….,” he said.
One of Hampson’s last Instagram posts, featuring numerous photos of him and his friends on the Amalfi Coast, was captioned, “My life is fantastic”.
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“I love you my brother you beautiful soul. I’m so sorry,” Riki wrote on Instagram. “Can’t put into words how I’m feeling I love you bro. RIP my beautiful brother.”
Hampson had played four years in the Queensland Cup, moving from Tweed Head Seagulls to Redcliffe at the end of 2021.
He came off the bench in last month’s Queensland Cup grand final loss to Norths Devils, and was in a position to impress Wayne Bennett and the NRL’s 17th franchise at the Dolphins.
“Liam was a much loved and respected member of the rugby league community,” QRL chief executive officer Rohan Sawyer said.
“It is terrible news to wake up to this morning, and our hearts go out to Liam’s family and friends.”