The rugby league world is mourning the death of retired English player Ricky Bibey after he was found dead in a hotel room in Florence alongside a seriously injured woman.
Staff at the Hotel Continentale in Italy found the body of the 40-year-old player in his room on Saturday at about 8am local time.
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A 43-year-old woman, believed to be his partner, was rushed to hospital with serious injuries.
Staff at the hotel told local media they were alerted to the incident by the woman who “came out half naked from the room, smeared with blood, screaming for help to the neighbours and to a cleaner."
MailOnline is reporting that Bibey suffered a seizure, but the cause of death is yet to be confirmed.
Italian media have stated that investigators have ordered a post-mortem examination as well as toxicology reports.
“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 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.”
Bibey played 215 games in the UK Super League and represented England A in 2002.
He played for St Helens, Wigan Warriors, Wakefield Trinity and Leigh Centurions, winning the Challenge Cup twice.
We are desperately saddened to learn of the passing of their popular former prop forward Ricky Bibey (HN#1211) while on holiday in Italy. Ricky was only 40 years of age. Everyone at the club sends sincere condolences to his family and friends at this time. ❤️
— Leigh Centurions (@LeighCenturions) July 17, 2022
Rugby league world mourns death of Ricky Bibey
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.
"Ricky played professionally for a number of clubs including Leigh, Wigan, St Helens and Wakefield. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time."
Rugby star Leon Pryce wrote on Twitter: “Sincere condolences to Ricky’s family. We played against each other since the age of about 14.
“Yorkshire vs Lancashire and together for England schools boys U16’s. A great lad. Absolutely devastating news. RIP Ricky.”
Rochdale chairman Andy Mazey tweeted: "Terrible news this morning. RIP Ricky and thoughts with Ronny and the Bibey family."
Bibey retired in 2012 due to an achilles injury.
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.”
— Steve Prescott MBE (@StevePrescott1) July 17, 2022
Awful news this morning hearing the passing of Ricky Bibey, looked after me in them early years at Leigh, always put his arm around me. Rest easy big man ❤️ pic.twitter.com/bZ6OqLBo1T
— Ryan Brierley (@RyanBrierley) July 17, 2022
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. ❤ pic.twitter.com/ZAEqH5iYxo
— Wakefield Trinity (@WTrinityRL) July 17, 2022
Wigan Warriors are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former prop forward, Ricky Bibey.
Between 2001-2003, Ricky played 42 games for Wigan and was part of the 2002 Challenge Cup winning squad.
We send our condolences to Ricky's family and friends at this sad time.
— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (@WiganWarriorsRL) July 17, 2022
We are saddened to hear of the passing of former Saint Ricky Bibey.
Ricky played 21 times for us and was part of the 2004 @TheChallengeCup winning squad that defeated Wigan.
All our thoughts are with Ricky’s friends and family at this terrible time. #COYS pic.twitter.com/FTji2JcII9
— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) July 17, 2022
Awful news about Ricky Bibey. Had some great battles against him in the front row during our Academy days, and then became team mates in the early 2000s at @Saints1890 and got on brilliantly. Seen him a few times since retiring, at our kids matches and always chatted rugby.
— John Stankevitch (@johnstankevitch) July 17, 2022
Awful news to wake up to about the passing of Ricky Bibey. Only exchanged messages with Ricky a few weeks back and have known him since we were 14. A true character and a skilful and tough player. Sending his family our deepest condolences. Rest well big fella. 😔💔 pic.twitter.com/RL0yHZlF0n
— David Mills (@BigMillsy8) July 17, 2022
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