A MUCH-LOVED amateur rugby league player described as 'the life and soul of a party' was tragically found at his Great Sankey home by his brother, an inquest has heard.

Liam Walsh was a former amateur player and coach for the likes of Rylands, Crosfields, Warrington Wizards and Warrington Knights and hundreds lined the streets before his funeral last year.

An inquest held at Warrington Coroner's Court on Thursday heard he 'was always up for a laugh' and had a real 'sensitive side'.

He died in April last year and the inquest heard he kissed his pet goodbye before being found dead in his garage.

The hearing was told he had a disagreement with his wife on April 19 who was picked up by her mum.

Liam had a phone conversation with his mother-in-law, later that day at 9.50am, when he seemed 'focused on work', a statement read at the court heard

On the same day, the couple returned to her parents' home to drop the dog off, and it was observed how Liam seemed upset before kissing the pet goodbye and leaving in his own car.

Heath Westerman, assistant coroner for Cheshire, heard how he was found in his garage at his Great Sankey home by his brother.

Liam had left three notes, Mr Westerman added.

After his death, one close friend: "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."

Toxicology tests showed that Liam, a site manager, had only a very low level of alcohol in his body and had no previous documented history of mental health struggles.

Mr Westerman said he had lived at the marital home for two years and had no past attempts of self-harm or expressing suicidal thoughts.

The coroner told how the 29-year-old did suffer from occasional mood swings, but nothing had been diagnosed.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Mr Westerman told Mr Walsh's family at the Parr Hall in Warrington: "I am satisfied Liam did the act himself, and by doing it he intended to end his own life."

Liam Walshs funeral

Liam Walsh's funeral

After the tragedy, Warrington Wolves players past and present, including Jon Clarke and Declan Patton, paid tribute to Liam on social media, along with well-known comedian Adam Hills.

A special shirt was designed in his memory, with the proceeds going to support the Walsh family.

Hundreds of mourners lined the streets last May at his funeral as the hearse made its way to Warrington Cemetery.

Crowds broke out in applause, while blue and yellow balloons were launched.

Many were wearing the special rugby shirt released in Liam’s memory and bearing his name and number on the back.

Liam Walshs funeral

Liam Walsh's funeral

If you have been affected by this story and would like to talk to someone then call Samaritans for free from any phone on 116123.

Alternatively Papyrus, dedicated to helping people under 35 at risk of suicide, via its HopelineUK service.

Visit papyrus-uk.org/hopelineuk/ or call 0800 068 4141, text 07786209697 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org