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Tributes paid to 34-year-old rugby player who died at training

By Ian Cameron
Penrith RUFC

Tributes have been paid to a 34-year-old rugby player who died during a training session in Cumbria on Thursday.


Penrith RUFC player and firefighter Ryan Johnson passed away suddenly during the session, despite the best efforts of his teammates and paramedics at the scene.

The former first-team captain and county player was described as a ‘great player and person’ and the ‘the life and soul’ of the fire crew he worked on. He leaves behind a wife and a young family.

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A spokesperson from Penrith Rugby Club said: “It is with deepest regret that we report the passing of our club member, player, past first XV captain and county player Ryan Johnson.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with Shiona, his children and the rest of his family at this very sad time.”

Gallagher Premiership side Newcastle Falcons extended their sympathies following the tragedy. “All at Newcastle Falcons are deeply saddened to hear the news of Ryan Johnson’s passing earlier this week. Our deepest sympathies and condolences go to his family, friends and all those at Penrith RUFC.”


A club spokesperson from Aspatria RUFC said of the player: “Ryan was a great player and person and testament to him was the complete shock within our group, and I’m sure countless other team groups throughout the county upon the news.”

A spokesperson from Penrith Fire Station wrote: “Ryan served as an on-call firefighter at Penrith Fire Station and was much loved by all the crew at Penrith, and throughout Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.

“He was the life and soul of the crew and knew how to make everyone laugh with his charm and cracking ‘dad jokes’.

“He had a great relationship with everyone he worked with and everyone he crossed paths with, and his smiling face and positive attitude will be deeply missed.


“Our deepest condolences go out to his wife Shiona, his two children and the rest of his family at this very sad time.”

Penrith RUFC have set up a Go Fund Me page for his family to help cover funeral costs and with financial burden of his sudden passing.

You can donate HERE


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