Regan Grieve.
Regan Grieve.

League mourns death of two young league players

THEY were two of Mackay's greatest NRL hopefuls.

Regan Grieve was a bright up-and-comer who debuted for the North Queensland Cowboys Under 20s last year.

Hayden Butler was set to pull on the Mackay Cutters' jersey this season, after an impressive stint with the Melbourne Storm's U20s squad.

But both young men have had their futures cut tragically short, both dying suddenly in the past couple of days. Mackay product Grieve died overnight Monday, just days shy of his 19th birthday.

Butler is believed to have died over the Australia Day long weekend.

Yesterday - as family, friends and the local and national league fraternities came to terms with the news - tributes for the two rising stars flowed on social media.

A former North Mackay Magpies junior, Grieve was cited on his Cowboys player profile as saying "Success isn't owned. It's leased and the rent is due every day".

He named running on for the Maroons in the U16 State of Origin curtain raiser as his career highlight and his goal was to play in the NRL.

He would have been 19 on Saturday.

A Queensland Rugby League spokesman said the Cutters had received some great support from the state and national leagues.

He said welfare education managers David Solomona and Murray Hurst were in Mackay to help the family members and Cutters players and support personnel.

"They've had good support from the club doctor," the spokesman said.

The spokesman said Butler had only been in Mackay for about three-and-a-half weeks and was already training with the team.

"It's certainly a tough day for rugby league and Mackay."

These most recent tragedies follow the suicide of Alex Elisala, who died in 2013, rocking both Cowboys and Cutters players and supporters.

Need to talk?

  •  Lifeline: 13 11 14
  •  beyondblue: 1300 224 636
  •  Mensline: 1300 789 987
  •  Mackay Integrated Mental Health: 24 hours - 4968 3893


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