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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Tributes paid after ex-rugby player found dead

Tributes have been paid to a former west Cumbrian rugby league player and homeless charity worker.

John Hyncica photo
John Hyncica

John Hyncica, 46, originally from Egremont, was found dead at a property in Newcastle where he was living at the time.

The cause of his death is still unclear, but the coroner’s office in Newcastle has confirmed an inquest will be opened into his death.

Mr Hyncica, known to friends as Inchie, was a player for amateur side Egremont Rangers in the 1990s and had a brief professional spell with Workington Town, where he was brought in by his uncle and club legend Ike Southward.

He leaves behind a number of family members, many of whom still live locally, including sisters Susan and Angela.

After his rugby career finished Mr Hyncica found himself homeless, but then he turned his life around through north east-based charity Cyrenians, now known as Changing Lives.

He managed to get back on track and took a job as a project worker for the charity and worked on the front line every day.

Neil Baird, assistant director at Changing Lives, said: “We are extremely saddened to hear the tragic news about John. Our thoughts and condolences are very much with his family, friends and loved ones at this time.

“John has worked with us for over four years and was a valued and much-liked colleague. He will be sadly missed by staff, volunteers and clients.”

Mr Hyncica was also a north east representative on a homeless commission which addressed the House of Lords in 2011.

Tributes have been filling social media sites, as friends and former classmates express their shock at the death of the well-known ex-scaffolder whose body was discovered on Monday.

Sharon Reynolds posted on Facebook: “He got his act together and was doing so well. Always had time for the wee man. Rip son. May you get the peace you need now. Deepest condolences to the family. Xx”

Jo Simpson wrote: “Oh god, awful news, love to his family and friends .... RIP Inchie x.”

Karly Celino added: “Rip John you will be sadly missed xx.”

West Cumbria Stuart Aitken described him as a “legend rugby player for Egremont” when he was younger. He wrote: “Gutted! Rip pal I’ll never forget the good times.”

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