Paul Wellens pays lovely tribute to former team-mate Bryn Hargreaves
St Helens coach Paul Wellens paid a heartfelt tribute to his former team-mate Bryn Hargreaves, who has passed away.
On Sunday evening, Hargreaves’ family confirmed that his body had been found – 14 months after he was reported missing in January 2022, then aged 36.
Wellens, who played alongside Hargreaves at Saints between 2007-10, paid a tribute to his former team-mate in his weekly press conference.
Wellens said: “On behalf of the club and from myself as a former team-mate of his, we want to pay our respect and our sympathy to Bryn’s family.
“It was very sad news when we found out today that his body had been found. It is a deeply upsetting time for everybody, especially his family.
“I just want to place on our record about how much of a respected player he was. When he played here, how much of a well liked member of the team he was; and how good he was to be around – both on and off the field.
“He was a fierce competitor. When I spoke to our team this morning, I told them that Bryn was the type of guy that they would’ve loved to have played with.
“It is a huge loss and we are all very saddened by it. I just want to send our thoughts and sympathies to Bryn’s family at this time.”
Bryn Hargreaves was the “life and soul of the party”, says Paul Wellens
Hargreaves played for Wigan before joining St Helens. He was in the Saints team that won the 2008 Challenge Cup at Wembley.
He later joined Bradford but retired at the age of 26 in 2012 and moved to the States.
Speaking of his memories of Hargreaves, Wellens said: “The first thing that really jumped out at us as a group was how competitive he was, that showed up in training straight away. He had a real drive and want to win and that instantly gained the respect of all of his team-mates.
“We have players around today who show that same desire and attitude and its infectious. Bryn was an infectious character who we loved having around.
“He was such an underrated player I feel as well. Whenever he played he got the job done. He was a tough front-rower who was also very skilful as well. I think I remember him scoring a hat-trick on one occasion as well which front-rowers don’t often do.
“Equally as well with memories off the field at team functions. Bryn was a brilliant musician so he’d bring his guitar and lead the team songs so I’ve got really fond memories.
“Bryn was the life and soul of the party when we, as a team, were out socialising, which I have to confess, we did a fair bit of at the time”
Hargreaves’ brother Gareth shared the sad news on social media on Sunday night. He wrote: “With incredible sadness I can confirm after 14 months we have finally found Bryn.
“We still do not know the cause of death or what actually happened on 3/1/22.
“Thanks to all those that have helped in the search. We would appreciate a little space and will keep you update when we have any further information.”
Hargreaves made 115 appearances for St Helens, after starting his career at Wigan. He had a brief spell at Leigh in 2006. In his last five seasons in rugby league, three at Saints and two at Bradford, Hargreaves played virtually every game, averaging 30 appearances per season.
His family and friends had held events to fundraise the search for him, including bucket collections at the DW Stadium last season.
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