AUSTRALIAN Rugby League star Mitch Cronin has tragically died aged 27 after he was found in his backyard swimming pool following a training accident.
The Queensland Cup’s grand final captain had reportedly just completed a weights session before entering his pool for a cool down at his Brisbane home.
He is then believed to have suffered a heart attack, with an autopsy set to be completed.
Cronin spent time with both Brisbane and Canberra before leading Wynnum Manly to the Queensland Cup final last year.
Following the shock news as host of tributes have poured in for the hooker, who also worked as a teaching assistant.
Cronin’s manager, Paul Hogan, confirmed his death and said it was a “tragic loss of life”.
He said: “This has left Wynnum club, their players and myself totally shocked.
“He was an outstanding young man and my thoughts are with his family. We are all shattered.”
A number of former teammates also took to social media to pay their respects.
Ex-Raiders colleague Jordan Rapana wrote: “Man I still don’t want to believe it! You got me through some of the toughest times of my life! I love you my brother, fly high you absolute legend, love you forever brother! Okioki teina… QUEENSLANDER!!!!”
QRL competitions manager, Dave Maiden, hailed Cronin as a leader who inspired those around him.
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He said: “He was a quality human being who will be mourned by many and missed by all. The people who came across him will be in state of disbelief … He’s one of the good ones.”
Seagulls chief executive, Hanan Laban, said: “We are devastated … and we send out love to Chris, Andrea, Ben, Amy and the Cronin family.
“Mitch was an exceptional young man who was loved and respected by his teammates, his coaching staff, our supporters and the wider rugby league community.
“From the moment he arrived at Wynnum he embodied the values of the Seagulls through his positive attitude, strong work ethic, and deep care for his teammates and his club.”