A Queensland rugby league player has been found dead in a Barcelona nightclub after falling 10 meters, police said.
Redcliffe Dolphins young gun Liam Hampson, 24, was reported missing during a trip to Spain earlier this week.
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A close friend has since revealed that Hampson only joined the holiday at the last minute, telling 102.9fm he was originally not due to go on the end-of-season trip until Redcliffe’s early exit from the QCup final.
His death is being ruled an accident.
It is said to have been found inside an “inner terrace” that is closed to visitors.
The Sala Apolo nightclub believes he got lost while leaving the venue, went through an emergency exit and fell up to 10 meters as he tried to find his way back.
Sala Apolo nightclub said in a statement that they will work closely with the police in the investigation of the tragedy.
“These are sad and very painful times. Above all, for all the people affected by the unforeseeable accident that happened on Tuesday, October 18, in the early hours of the morning in the outdoor area of the Apolo complex,” the club said.
“It’s sad even for those of us who are part of the organization.
“Management and the entire team at Apolo are beyond appalled by what has happened and we extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Liam Hampson.
“We have made ourselves available to the Mossos d’Esquadra and will continue to do so in relation to any matter relating to the fatal accident.”
On Thursday morning AEDT, Barcelona police confirmed to 7NEWS that a body, believed to be that of Hampson, had been found.
“This morning staff at the nightclub where Liam was last seen found the body on the floor in the Sala Apolo section of the nightclub,” they said.
Sharing a post on Instagram, Hampson’s sister Tiarna said she had woken up to the “saddest possible news”.
“We are devastated to learn that Liam was involved in an accident and did not survive.
“We are so heartbroken. Liam was the best brother I could ever (sic) ask for and made me a better person.
“We cannot express our sorrow.
Hampson’s dad Brett wrote on Facebook that he woke up to “news nobody wants to hear”.
“We are heartbroken to say the least. Liam had a heart of gold and was a much loved son, brother, grandson, uncle and friend. Words cannot express our grief,” he said.
“We can’t thank his friends enough for being there with Liam and having the time of his life helping to find our boy.” Our thoughts are with them.”
Both Brett and Tiarna have asked for privacy and thanked those he traveled with for helping with the search.
His disappearance prompted Gold Coast Titans star AJ Brimson, who was traveling with him, to plead for help.
Hampson toured Europe with close friend Brimson, as did Brisbane Broncos duo Jordan Riki and Jesse Arthars.
“He could not be contacted and was not seen for 24 hours,” Brimson wrote.
“I was traveling with a group and he was very out of character, any information would be greatly appreciated.
Riki reposted it later in the evening and said: “Please help or share this, it’s very scary for us all this is our best mate, we want to find him.”
Broncos player Jordan Riki, who traveled with Hampson and was part of the search, has since started a GoFundMe to support his loved ones.
More than $50,000 was raised in just three hours Thursday to help the Hampson family bring their son home.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it is providing assistance.
Tributes flow from the NRL community
The NRL community is mourning the news of Hampson’s death.
At 24, the talented hooker was chasing her NRL dream. His family was at every game.
Dolphins captain Cameron Cullen told 7NEWS the team is struggling with the news.
“He had an impact on the field, but he had such a massive impact off the field,” he told 7NEWS.
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