RUGBY League legend Steve Prescott has died.
Wigan Warriors fans joined the rest of the rugby league world in mourning this afternoon following the loss of a man who inspired everyone he came across.
The former St Helens and Hull player passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer at the age of 39. It was the manner in which he fought that illness which earned him the respect and love he so duly deserved.
Wigan Warriors were one of the many to pay tribute to a legend with a post from their Twitter account saying: “What a man. You will leave an incredible legacy. A very sad day for our great game. #steveprescottRIP”
Wigan legend Kris Radlinski added: “Shattering news. Terrible day for RL. Am honour to know such a guy. Iived like a warrior, forever a saint. #steveprescottRIP”
The 39-year-old had spent the past few weeks in a hospital in the Midlands where he had been receiving treatment for a rare type of stomach cancer.
He died on Saturday at around 3am.
In recent weeks, his condition had deteriorated and he had suffered two bouts of pneumonia.
Born and bred in St Helens, Prekkie, as he was affectionately known, was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and told he had only months to live.
But he astounded doctors but continuing to fight the disease and then undergoing a series of charity challenges to raise cash for the foundation he established in his name.
RFL chief executive Nigel Wood said: “It is with deep sadness that we have learned of the death of Steve Prescott. Our thoughts are with his family at this terribly sad time.
“The word ‘hero’ is overused in sport but Steve was just that: a role model for every young Rugby League player during his distinguished playing career and an absolute inspiration to all of us off the field.
“Throughout his long illness Steve was never anything other than dignified, noble and brave, not least during his fantastic charity work through the Steve Prescott Foundation which raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes, including the Rugby League Benevolent Fund.
“Steve touched on the lives of a great many people and enriched both Rugby League and the whole of sport with his engaging personality, unselfish efforts and his stoicism in the face of such an aggressive and cruel illness.
“We are all very fortunate to have been associated with Steve. He is going to be much missed.”