‘Absolutely heartbreaking’ loss rocks NRL
Popular Queensland Cup grand final captain Mitchell Cronin has been remembered as a talented, but humble leader following his shock death at home in Brisbane on Friday.
The 27-year-old spent time with both the Broncos and Canberra without making his NRL debut, before piloting Wynnum Manly to the Queensland Cup final last year.
The Seagulls hooker, who worked as a teacher aide and was on track to become a firefighter was one of the Queensland Cup's standouts in a distinguished 105-game career.
Cronin had reportedly just completed a weights session before deciding to cool down in the pool, where he was later reportedly found by members of his family. An autopsy will be completed, with Cronin reportedly suffering a suspected heart attack.
"I came to Canberra around the same time as him and out of sheer luck I got to be roomed up with him back in 2013," former Raider Jordan Rapana told Fox Sports.
"He was just an all-round top bloke; I just want Australia and the world to know how good of a bloke Mitch is.
"He just had that effect on everyone … he's one of them guys that's everybody's best mate, has that positive aura and you want to be around him."
QRL competitions manager Dave Maiden said Cronin was an outstanding person and leader who inspired those around him.
"Mitchell was a fantastic leader of men and a quality player," Maiden said.
"More importantly though, 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."
Everyone at the Melbourne Storm send their condolences to all the family and friends of Mitch Cronin. Rest In Peace. https://t.co/M1lNUrXvLL— M e l b o u r n e S t o r m (@storm) April 18, 2020
Seagulls chief executive Hanan Laban described him as a quiet achiever who was fearless on the field, yet humble and modest.
"We are devastated by the passing of our captain Mitch Cronin and we send out love to Chris, Andrea, Ben, Amy and the Cronin family," Laban said.
"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."
Originally published as 'Absolutely heartbreaking' loss rocks NRL
This is absolutely heartbreaking.— Zac Bailey (@ZacBailey14) April 18, 2020
Such a tragic loss.
Thinking of the Cronin family & all his mates 😔 https://t.co/iwQxbJiIEq
Terribly sad to wake up to the reports about Mitch Cronin. Thinking of his family and all the players who have run out alongside and against him. Far, far too young. Seems like yesterday he was an up-and-coming star at Canberra.— Scott Bailey (@ScottBaileyAAP) April 17, 2020