Body of missing ex-rugby league forward Bryn Hargreaves found 14 months on

Josh McAllister
Bryn Hargreaves St Helens PA

The body of missing ex-Wigan, Leigh, St Helens and Bradford forward Bryn Hargreaves has been found, his family have confirmed. 

Hargreaves was reported missing in January 2022, then aged 36.

The former prop retired from playing rugby league in 2012 at the age of 26 and then moved to the USA, where he was reported missing in Cheat Lake area on Monongalia Country, West Virginia.

A private investigator was later hired by the family, having set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds.

His brother, Gareth, shared the sad news on social media. He wrote: “With incredible sadness I can confirm after 14 months we have finally found Bryn.

“We still do not know the cause of death or what actually happened on 3/1/22.

“Thanks to all those that have helped in the search. We would appreciate a little space and will keep you update when we have any further information.”

Rugby league pays tribute Bryn Hargreaves

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 moved to the States.

Tributes have started to pour in from the rugby league community.

St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus said: “It is with great sadness that we hear of the death of our former player Bryn Hargreaves.

“Our thoughts and prayers are very much with his family at this incredibly difficult time. They have also had to deal with a prolonged period of stress prior this awful news.

“Bryn was extremely well liked and respected by his team mates and by all involved with the club during his four seasons with us from 2007 to 2010.

“He was very much part of the great Saints team of that era and was a World Club Challenge winner in 2007 and a Challenge Cup winner in 2008.

“It is a real tragedy that he has died at such a young age. He will be remembered with genuine warmth and with affection by us all.”

Former club Wigan said: “Wigan Warriors are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former player, Bryn Hargreaves.

“Bryn, Heritage Number 966, made his debut for the Warriors in July 2004 as a substitute against Salford Red Devils and went on to make 33 appearances for the Club across a two year stint in Cherry and White. Our thoughts are with this family and friends at this sad time.”

St Helens council leader David Baines tweeted: “Truly awful news about Bryn Hargreaves. Sincere condolences to all his loved ones and everyone who knew him.”

Tides of History: “Not many people can say they played for three of the biggest rugby league clubs in England RIP Bryn Hargreaves – former Wigan, St Helens and Bradford player.”

Miss Holmes: “It’s so sad to hear that the body of Bryn Hargreaves has been found, after going missing over a year ago. I really do hope this gives his family the closure they need.”

Hargreaves made 115 appearances for St Helens, after starting his career at Wigan. He had a brief spell at Leigh in 2006. In his last five seasons in rugby league, three at Saints and two at Bradford, Hargreaves played virtually every game, averaging 30 appearances per season.

His family and friends had held events to fundraise the search for him, including bucket collections at the DW Stadium last season.