Fans ‘shocked and saddened’ after sporting favourite and European Cup winner passes away

STEVE BOOTH, former rugby union star for Leicester and Bath, has passed away at the age of 42.

Old club Tigers have described the winger as an “entertainer” as tributes flood in, a statement adding they are “shocked and saddened” by his death.

Pontefract-born Booth began his career in rugby league with Huddersfield and Doncaster before switching codes in 2000.

In four years at Tigers, his style and flair made him a fan favourite during their success at the turn of the century.

Among Booth’s achievements were two Premiership and European Cup titles as well as caps for England Sevens and England ‘A’.

Leicester coach Geordan Murphy, who played with Booth, said on Wednesday: “Steve was a big personality in a dressing room full of big personalities.

“He came in from rugby league but settled in quickly, and he played the best rugby of his career at Leicester in a very successful team.

“He was a real entertainer on the pitch and will be remembered as someone who could score tries out of nothing.

We were shocked to hear of his passing and, on behalf of everyone at Tigers, pass on condolences to his partner and their family and friends.”

Former clubs Huddersfield Giants and Bath also expressed their sadness at his death.

A Bath statement read: “Incredibly sad to hear reports of the passing of former Bath Rugby player Steve Booth, who played for the club in the 2005 season.

“Our thoughts are with his family, friends and all that knew him at this sad time.”

Giants tweeted their condolences: “Huddersfield Giants are saddened to hear of the passing of our former player Steve Booth. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

Former teammates Andy Goode and Tom Varndell were among those paying tribute to his career.

Ex-England intentional Goode wrote online: “Very sad to hear the news of the passing of my ex-Tigers team mate Steve Booth. Sleep well my friend.”

Varndell added his condolences: “So sad to wake up today and hear about the passing of ex-Tigers player Steve Booth who passed away suddenly. Love to his family.”