Organisations have been paying tribute after the death of a Cumbrian rugby player was announced.

Ryan Johnson, who played for Penrith Rugby Club and was the former first-team captain, passed away on December 1 while training at the club, at the age of 34.

A spokesperson from Penrith Rugby Club said: "It is with deepest regret that we report the passing of our club member, player, past first XV captain and county player Ryan Johnson.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with Shiona, his children and the rest of his family at this very sad time.”

Also paying tribute was Aspatria Rugby Club, from which a club spokesperson said: "Ryan was a great player and person and testament to him was the complete shock within our group, and I’m sure countless other team groups throughout the county upon the news.

"RIP Ryan.”

He was also an on-call firefighter in the town. 

A spokesperson from Penrith Fire Station wrote: "It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our friend and crew member Ryan Johnson on December 1, 2022.

"Ryan served as an on-call firefighter at Penrith Fire Station and was much loved by all the crew at Penrith, and throughout Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.

"He was the life and soul of the crew and knew how to make everyone laugh with his charm and cracking ‘dad jokes’.

"He had a great relationship with everyone he worked with and everyone he crossed paths with, and his smiling face and positive attitude will be deeply missed.

"Our deepest condolences go out to his wife Shiona, his two children and the rest of his family at this very sad time."

Joining Penrith Fire Station was Carlisle East Fire Station, from which a spokesperson said: "A gentle giant who will be sorely missed.

"Hearts are broken throughout Cumbria.

"Rest in peace Ryan."

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