Twitter reacts to the passing of late referee

Tributes have poured in following the tragic death of Super League referee Chris Leatherbarrow, aged 26.

Player, clubs and colleagues were quick to take to social media and offer their condolences as the sad news became apparent late on Sunday evening.

The circumstances remain unclear surround the passing of Leatherbarrow, who leaves behind a young daughter.


Leatherbarrow had worked his way up through the amateur game before being appointed a Super League referee.

After the news circulated online on Sunday night, the RFL confirmed his passing in a short statement. 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.”

Amongst those who showed their support was Coronation Street actor Antony Cotton, who tweeted: “Shocked and saddened to hear the news about Chris Leatherbarrow.”

The news originally surfaced on social media, and what followed was a catalogue of tributes to the referee, who hailed from St Helens. In 2013 he was named Championship referee of the year and went on to officiate a number of Super League games. Fellow referee Richard Silverwood was amongst those who paid their respects online, adding a picture from a trip away they shared together in Lanzarote.

Leatherbarrow had a young daughter named Daisy with his partner, Nicola.
Lizzie Jones, widow of former Keighley Cougars player Danny Jones, also paid her respects.

Leatherbarrow was also hailed by a number of players.