Bulldogs pay tribute to respected referee

Batley Bulldogs have paid tribute to rugby league referee Chris Leatherbarrow, who died on Sunday.
Batley Bulldogs have paid tribute to rugby league referee Chris Leatherbarrow, who died on Sunday.
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Batley Bulldogs are among a host of Championship clubs who have sent their condolences to the family of popular and respected rugby league referee Chris Leatherbarrow.

St Helens match official Mr Leatherbarrow died on Sunday, aged just 27, leaving behind a four-year-old daughter Daisy and partner Nicola.

He had officiated at Championship and Super League level, including numerous games involving Batley.

Bulldogs tweeted: “Saddened to hear of the death of RFL Match Official Chris Leatherbarrow. We send our sincerest condolences to his family and friends.”

Players and officials from throughout the game were also saddened to learn about the match official’s passing.

St Helens’ former Bulldogs star Alex Walmsley added: “Life is too precious. Cherish every moment and be grateful of every second you get to spend with the people you love. RIP Chris.”

Bulldogs prop Keegan Hirst tweeted: “Really sad news about Chris Leatherbarrow. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family at such a sad time.”

Danny Maun, who joined the Bulldogs’ coaching staff last week, posted: “Very sad news about Chris Leatherbarrow always had a good craic with him at a lot of games RIP.”

International referee Richard Silverwood, from Mirfield, added his tribute, tweeting: “Truly gutted. I’ll never forget the week we had on our pre-season camp to Lanzarote. Gone too soon. RIP Chris x.”

The Rugby Football League also passed on their condolences, with chief executive Nigel Wood saying: “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.”