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British retired rugby league player found dead at Florence hotel – reports

According to Italian media reports, Ricky Bibey, a former British rugby league player, was found dead in a four-star Florence hotel.

After staff alerted police, the 40-year old retired forward from Manchester was reported to have been found dead in his hotel room at the Hotel Continentale.

According to reports, Mr Bibey arrived Friday along with a woman aged 43, believed to be his partner. She is currently being treated at the Careggi hospital in the city after she was discovered alongside him with serious injuries.

The luxury hotel is just a few steps from Florence Cathedral, where local police and forensic teams were also seen.


La Nazione, a local newspaper reports that staff heard screaming from the room and raised the alarm.

According to UK media reports, an unidentified British man was found dead in Florence’s hotel.

La Nazione reported in the meantime that Bibey was the man found dead. He played for several teams, including St Helens, Wigan Warriors, Leigh Centurions and Wakefield Trinity.

More information about Italy

Leigh Centurions wrote on Twitter that the club was “desperately sorry” to learn Bibey had been killed while on vacation in Italy.

St Helens wrote: “We are saddened by the passing of former Saint Ricky Bibey. Ricky was a 21-time player for us, and was part the winning team at @TheChallengeCup 2004 that beat Wigan. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ricky’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

Leon Pryce, a former rugby league player, tweeted his condolences: “Sincere condolences Ricky’s Family. Since the age of around 14, we played against one another.

“Yorkshire Vs Lancashire and together for England schools boys U16” He is a great boy. This is truly terrible news. “RIP Ricky.”

Wakefield Trinity wrote that they were saddened by the passing of Ricky Bibey (40), former prop-forward. Ricky made 60 appearances for Trinity between 2007-2009.

“We send our condolences Ricky’s family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time.”

Bibey played rugby league professionally for over a decade before he was injured in his Achilles tendon. He retired from the sport in 2012.

According to reports, he worked as an estate agent during the years after his retirement.

The identity of the man who was killed in Florence is not yet confirmed by the UK Foreign Office.

Sky News spoke with a spokesperson who said: “We are in contact with the Italian police after the death of a British citizen in Florence.”


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