TRIBUTES have been paid to an amateur rugby league player who has died at the age of 29.

Liam Walsh, from Orford, was a well-known face among the town’s rugby community – playing for and coaching sides including Rylands, Crosfields, Warrington Wizards and Warrington Knights, as well as football team Orford FC.

He passed away on Sunday, April 19, and is believed to have taken his own life.

Friend and former teammate Matt Barber said: “He was always up for a laugh and a beer, but he did have a sensitive side as well.

“I struggled with my own mental health a few years ago, and Liam was one of the first people that I turned to – he was always there if I needed anything.

“He was the life and soul of the party, but he was definitely there for anyone who needed him.”

Warrington Wolves players past and present, including Jon Clarke and Declan Patton, are among those who have paid tribute to Liam on social media – as has PDRL player and comedian Adam Hills.

And Matt has designed a special shirt in his memory, with the proceeds going to support the Walsh family.

Priced at £25 and being produced with the help of Wire prop Mike Cooper’s 1895 Sports, more than 600 shirts – emblazoned with the scrum half’s name and number and #NeverGiveUp – have been ordered so far.

Warrington Guardian:

Matt added: “I wanted to do something to raise awareness of mental health, as well as to show how special Liam was to a lot of people.

“The colours are the colours he wore throughout his career, and the badges are the teams he played for and coached.

“We’ve also put a four-leafed clover on there because Liam represented Ireland students, and his family has close ties to Dublin.

“The funds will go towards the Walsh family for them to use however they like.

“There are people in America and Australia who have ordered the shirt, so Walshy will be going worldwide.”

To order a shirt, click here.

If you have been affected by the issues raised in this article, call the Samaritans for free on 116 123