Queensland rugby league star Liam Hampson, 24, was found dead on Thursday morning in an “internal patio” –inaccessible to the public — of a Spanish nightclub.
Hampson was reported missing after a “night out with NRL teammates in Barcelona on Tuesday,” according to the New York Post.
After searching for approximately 30 hours, Hampson’s body was found in an enclosed patio of a Spanish nightclub. Club staff believes the Australian rugby star fell 30 feet to his death.
Regional Mossos d’Esquadra police officers reported on why it took so long to discover the body:
“It was in an internal patio which was not part of the public area of the nightclub. I don’t know how he would have got into that part of the building but he accessed it and from there fell around 10 metres to an interior patio.”
Police officials added: “The fact it wasn’t a public area helps to explain why the workers who raised the alarm didn’t do so until Wednesday lunchtime local time.”
Managers at the Sala Apolo nightclub told News Corp Australia:
“These are sad and very painful moments. First of all for all the people who are affected by the unforeseeable accident that occurred in the early hours of Tuesday 18th October in the outdoor area of Apolo venue.”
The Sala Apolo spokesperson added:
“It’s been sad as well for those of us who are part of the organization. The management and the entire Apolo team are beyond appalled by what happened and we express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Liam Hampson. We have placed ourselves at the disposal of the Mossos d’Esquadra police force and will continue to do so in relation to any matter concerning the fatal accident.”
Hampson was enjoying an off-season holiday in Europe with friends, including NRL stars Brimson, Riki and Arthars.
The group lost contact with Hampson around 5:30 am. After an initial search provided no leads, Hampson’s friends engaged the public in helping to locate their friend. Brimson wrote on Instagram:
“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. Please do not message me unless you have any help or info. We are busy trying to message family members etc. Thanks!!”
On Wednesday night, Hampson’s sister, Tiarna, provided an update on Instagram, noting she 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 reported the family was “devastated” and “heartbroken” by the news, writing:
“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. 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.”
Brett added: “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 thought are with them. We are asking the media to respect our privacy as we work through this time.”
Barcelona police confirmed the death was being treated as an accident. Spanish news publication El Caso reported that police acknowledged Hampson likely died because of an “accidental fall.”
Riki issued a tribute to Hampson, sharing three heartbreaking Instagram stories.
“I love you my brother you beautiful soul I’m so sorry,” he wrote.
“Can’t put into words how I’m feeling I love you bro I’m so sorry.”
“Please know I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped to find our boy words can’t express how grateful I am for you guys,” he said. “Everyone who reached out and posted on your socials and asked for your family/friends to help thank you so much … RIP my beautiful brother.”
Riki also shared a link to a GoFundMe page and said donations would help Hampson’s family bring his body home to Australia. He wrote:
“On behalf of Liam’s family and friends we would like to support his beautiful family in helping getting Liam home. Also supporting his family through this difficult time,” Riki said.
“As we all know Liam was a beautiful soul who brought people together with his love, wisdom and jokes. Liam was an outstanding talent on and off the football field if it was helping his teammates win a nail biting game or educating kids and many others on life and his wisdom. We love Liam and any donation would go a long way.”
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