Rugby league star dies in 'training accident'
THE rugby league community is in mourning after the sudden death of former Broncos players and current Wynnum Manly Seagulls captain Mitchell Cronin yesterday.
Cronin, just 27, was found dead yesterday afternoon.
Cronin did a weights session yesterday afternoon at his parents' home in Brisbane before deciding to cool down with a swim in their backyard pool.
He was later discovered face down in the pool by family members.
The star utility had a stellar career in the game, after being part of the Brisbane Broncos and Canberra Raiders NRL squad, he went on to play more than 100 games for his beloved Seagulls and last season led the team to its first grand final appearance since 2012.
Cronin is one of the most distinguished players in Queensland's premier league competition, the Intrust Super Cup, having captained the Seagulls in last year's grand-final loss to the Burleigh Bears.
Cronin's manager Paul Hogan this morning confirmed the tragic death.
It is understood there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding Cronin's sudden passing.
"It is a tragic loss of life," Hogan said.
"He really was a lovely young man. Everyone in the Queensland Cup held him in such high regard.
"This has left Wynnum club, their players and myself totally shocked.
"He was an outstanding young man and my thoughts are with his family.
"We are all shattered."
Queensland Rugby League boss Rob Moore sent an email to QRL directors last night notifying them of Cronin's death in what was described as a "training accident".
Cronin was due to celebrate his 28th birthday on Anzac Day and had just passed a course to become a firefighter.
The versatile utility had a stint at the Canberra Raiders in 2012 and while he never played NRL, he appeared for the club at the NRL Nines tournament.
Cronin later joined the Brisbane Broncos where he played for feeder-club Wynnum Manly.
Cronin received an offer to play in France last year but was unable to head overseas due to visa issues.
A Clairvaux MacKillop College graduate, Cronin was named skipper of the Seagulls last year and was loved by his teammates, coaches, fans and everyone at the club because of his genuine and caring personality.
Cronin made his debut in the Intrust Super Cup in 2014 with the Souths Logan Magpies, reaching a total of 103 games and scoring 37 tries.
Some of his teammates have paid tribute to their mate on social media.
"My mate who became my best mate. I'm going to miss you so much Cro. I love you mate," Seagulls playmaker Pat Templeman said.
"I wish I had the right words, but I don't. I wish I could run out with you one more time, but I can't. I wish I could have one more beer with you, but most of all, I wish you were still here. Love you brother," former Seagull Daniel Ogden said.
Cronin saw Wynnum officials as late as Thursday when he stopped into the club to pick up some weights to add to his home gym for workouts.
He did a weights session yesterday just moments before the pool mishap which tragically ended his life.
An autopsy is expected to be held in the coming days.
Originally published as Former Broncos player found dead, aged 27