Rugby league player found dead in nightclub
- Publish Date
- Friday, 21 October 2022, 8:18AM
Queensland rugby league player Liam Hampson has been found dead in a Barcelona nightclub following a desperate search from friends to locate him.
Hampson, 24, had not been seen for 30 hours after disappearing while partying with a group of NRL players on Tuesday night in Spain's second-largest city.
Friends reportedly lost contact with the Redcliffe Dolphins player about 5.30am in the morning, prompting public pleas for help from Gold Coast Titans player AJ Brimson as well as Brisbane Broncos duo Jordan Riki and Jesse Arthars.
"Hey guys bit of a long shot but hoping someone out there could have any information about Liam who has now been missing for 30 hours in Barcelona," Brimson wrote on Instagram.
"Please do not message me unless you have any help or info. We are busy trying to message family members etc. Thanks!!"
But on Thursday morning, Hampson's sister Tiarna shared a heartbreaking Instagram post confirming she had received the "saddest news possible".
"We are devastated to find out Liam had an accident and did not survive," Tiarna wrote.
"We are so heartbroken. Liam was the best brother I ever could of asked for and made me a better person.
"We cannot express our grief.
"We cannot thank the boys he was travelling with enough for assisting with his search and made sure his last days were the best of his life. Going to miss you so much, Liam."
Hampson's father Brett said the whole family was "devastated" and "heartbroken" by the news.
"Waking up to the news no one wants to hear, we are devastated to find out that Liam had an accident and sadly has not survived," Brett wrote.
"We are heartbroken to say the least. Liam had a heart of gold and was a much loved son, brother, grandson, uncle and friend. Words can not express our grief.
"We can not thank his mates enough for being there with Liam having the time of his life and assisting in the search for our boy. Our thoughts are with them.
"We are asking the media to respect our privacy as we work through this time."
Barcelona police also confirmed to 7NEWS a body believed to be Hampson had been found.
"This morning, nightclub staff where Liam was seen for the last time, found a body on the floor in an area of the nightclub, Sala Apolo," they said.
Police confirmed the death was being treated as an accident.
According to Spanish reports, Hampson's body was found by workers of the Sala Apolo nightclub in Barcelona, where he had spent the night with friends on October 18.
Barcelona police attended the venue before making the appropriate checks and identifying the body.
Spanish news publication El Caso reports police believe Hampson may have died because of an accidental fall.
Both the Australian consulate and Hampson's family have been contacted by Spanish authorities.
Sala Apolo is described as one of the oldest dance halls in Europe and hosts events on every night of the week.
Hampson had been enjoying an off-season holiday around Europe with a group of friends including NRL stars Brimson, Riki and Arthurs.
Images from their Instagram accounts show the group holidaying through Munich, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Positano and Paris before they travelled to Barcelona.
The group had presumably been coming to the end of their European trip, given pre-season training for NRL clubs who missed the top eight this year is due to begin in just a couple of weeks.
Hampson attended Keebra Park State High School on the Gold Coast with Brimson before the pair played their junior rugby league together at the Tweed Seagulls.
While Brimson moved on to the Titans, Hampson moved to the Redcliffe Dolphins in Queensland's domestic rugby league competition where he played as a hooker.
He had played in 37 games for Redcliffe, scoring nine tries.
However Hampson was not a member of the club's top tier list for their inaugural season in the NRL in 2023.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission
Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you