New details emerge after death of rugby league player Ricky Bibey

·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Ricky Bibey, pictured here in action for Wakefield Wildcats in the UK Super League.
Ricky Bibey in action for Wakefield Wildcats in the UK Super League. (Photo by Adam Davy - PA Images via Getty Images)

Police have revealed their suspicions that former rugby league player Ricky Bibey may have died in a sex game game wrong.

Bibey was found dead in a hotel room in Florence, Italy on Saturday alongside a seriously injured woman.

Staff at the Hotel Continentale found the body of the 40-year-old in his room at about 8am local time, while a 43-year-old woman - believed to be his partner - was rushed to hospital.

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Staff at the hotel told Italian media they were alerted to the incident after the woman “came out half naked from the room, smeared with blood, screaming for help to the neighbours and to a cleaner."

On Tuesday, The Times reported that police believe Bibey may have died of a heart attack during a “sex game”.

“[The woman] was suffering from serious injuries and there are different theories about what happened, with an erotic game not ruled out,” a source close to the investigation was quoted as saying.

“What needs to be established is whether she was consenting or not, whether this was a game or aggression on his part - that is what she can tell us.”

Ricky Bibey, pictured here in action for Wakefield against Hull KR.
Ricky Bibey in action for Wakefield against Hull KR. (Photo by Anna Gowthorpe - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

The unnamed woman sustained external wounds, including to her neck, and underwent surgery for a haemorrhage.

A post-mortem examination is set to take place on Thursday to determine the cause of Bibey’s death.

“It was likely a heart attack but the post-mortem will confirm that,” the source added.

Police previously revealed their main theory was that Bibey suffered a seizure during a sex game that went wrong.

“There is blood in the room and the forensic teams are working there at the moment while the woman has been taken to hospital for treatment," a police source earlier told MailOnline.

“Her current condition is serious but she is stable and her injuries are not life-threatening. We hope to question her at some point in the next few hours.”

Police reportedly delayed speaking to the woman due to the extent of her injuries.

Ruby league rocked by death of Ricky Bibey

Bibey played 215 games in the UK in stints with St Helens, Wigan Warriors, Wakefield Trinity and Leigh Centurions.

He won the Challenge Cup twice and represented England A in 2002.

"We are desperately saddened to learn of the passing of their popular former prop forward Ricky Bibey while on holiday in Italy," Leigh Centurions tweeted.

"Ricky was only 40 years of age. Everyone at the club sends sincere condolences to his family and friends at this time."

Wakefield Trinity tweeted: "Trinity are saddened to hear of the passing of former prop-forward Ricky Bibey, aged 40.

"Ricky played for Trinity between 2007 and 2009, making 60 appearances. We send our condolences to Ricky's family and friends at this tough time."

Leigh East, where Bibey started as a junior, wrote: "All at the club are saddened to hear about the death of our former junior Ricky Bibey who passed away on holiday.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time."

Bibey retired in 2012 due to an achilles injury after an 11-year professional career.

Leigh Centurions said at the time of his retirement: “He’s a big loss for us, both on the field and around the club. Ricky has had a fantastic career and he’s been a very good professional.”

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