Rugby league in shock at death of top ref

Referee Chris Leatherbarrow''First Utility Super League XX  Huddersfield Giants v Wakefield Wildcats 26/07/15  (Pic by John Rushworth)
Referee Chris Leatherbarrow''First Utility Super League XX Huddersfield Giants v Wakefield Wildcats 26/07/15 (Pic by John Rushworth)
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The RFL have confirmed the death of referee Chris Leatherbarrow.

The 26-year-old, from St Helens, leaves a four-year-old daughter Daisy and partner Nicola.

Details have not been revealed, but 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.”

Leatherbarrow refereed regularly in the lower divisions, but had also been in charge of matches at the top level.

News of his death has sent shockwaves through the sport.

Leeds Rhinos’ England centre Kallum Watkins Tweeted: “My deepest sympathies are with the family of Chris Leatherbarrow. Such awful news.”

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Hull FC were among clubs to Tweet their sadness at the news.

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