Body of missing former rugby league player Bryn Hargreaves found

Bryn Hargreaves, pictured in his days with St Helens (PA) (PA Archive)
Bryn Hargreaves, pictured in his days with St Helens (PA) (PA Archive)

The body of former rugby league player Bryn Hargreaves has been found more than a year after he vanished in the United States, his family have confirmed.

The 37-year-old moved to the US about 10 years ago and he was reported missing in January last year after he did not turn up for work.

A major police search in West Virginia drew a blank and in June his family revealed they had hired a private investigator to find him because “the police over there aren’t doing anything”.

His older brother revealed in a post on Facebook that his body had been found.

Gareth Hargreaves wrote: “With incredible sadness I can confirm after 14 months we have finally found Bryn.

He added that “we still do not know the cause of death or what actually happened” on January 3, 2022, when his brother vanished from his home near Morgantown in West Virginia.

“We would appreciate a little space and will keep you updated when we have any further information,” he added.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are providing support to the family of a British national who died in the US and are in contact with the local authorities.”

Hargreaves played in Super League for Wigan, St Helens and Bradford before moving to the States to work in the oil and gas industry.

His former clubs led tributes to him on social media.

St Helens head coach Paul Wellens said in a post on the club’s Twitter account: “On behalf of the club and from myself as a former team-mate of Bryn’s, we want to extend our deepest sympathies to Bryn’s family. It’s very sad news.

“I just want to place on record how much of a respected player and person Bryn 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 on and off the field.

“He was a fierce competitor and when I spoke to our team this morning I told them ‘Bryn’s the type of guy you guys would love to have played with’. It’s a huge loss and we’re all very saddened by it.”

Wigan Warriors were “saddened to learn of the passing” of their former player, adding: “Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Bradford Bulls wrote: “We are extremely saddened to learn the body of former player Bryn Hargreaves has been found.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with Bryn’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

Hargreaves played for Wigan before joining St Helens and he was in the team that won the 2008 Challenge Cup at Wembley.

He later joined Bradford but quit the game at the age of 26 when the Bulls went bust, and he moved to the US.

His family set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for a private detective, and his mother Maria and younger brother David went to the States last year to help search for him.

The PA news agency has contacted Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office for comment.