Former teammates pay tribute to Lance Thompson

Much-loved: Former Dragons hero Lance Thompson hits the ball up against Cronulla in 2005. Picture: AAP Image
Much-loved: Former Dragons hero Lance Thompson hits the ball up against Cronulla in 2005. Picture: AAP Image

A number of former teammates have paid tribute to Lance Thompson after the former Dragons and Sharks forward died on Thursday night.

Thompson was found dead at his Cronulla unit on Thursday night after police and paramedics were called to his home.

A report was being prepared for the coroner but police said there were no suspicious circumstances or evidence of self harm.

Thompson was 40.

Former NSW and Australia representative Greg Bird, who was a teammate of Thompson’s at Cronulla, described him as a “lovable larrikin.”

“I can’t believe the news from back home and shocked at the passing of this loveable larriken,” he wrote on social media. 

“His influence definitely helped shape my career and I know I’m not the only one. Tough, no-nonsense competitor who always had the respect of his teammates and opposition.

“You and that pout will be missed brother, rest easy!”

Another former Sharks teammate Luke Covell said Thompson was a “true red-headed champion.”

“Gutted for the loss of this true red-headed champion. Had the pleasure to play alongside this bloke for a few years,” he said.

“RIP mate and our thoughts are with your family especially your little ones.”

Former Dragons teammate and long-time friend Anthony Mundine said his thoughts and prayers were with Thompson’s family.

“Thommo was one of the most genuine people I have known who cared for his family and friends,” he said.

“RIP my brother.”

Current Sharks stars Andrew Fifita and James Segeyaro also took to social media to pay tribute to Thompson.

“Thank you Lance, the MAN who drove 8hrs to the bush to become my manager. The MAN who brought me my 1st pair of boots. The MAN that brought me my 1st XBOX,” Fifita wrote. 

“I’m going to miss our weekly chats and lectures on how you were the best and how you would of smashed me lol. But most of all, just going to miss you in general.

“A true Friend who was always there for me from day dot. Fly high brother. You will always be a hero in my eyes. Love ya bra #RIPThommo”

Sharks hooker James Segeyaro said “To wake to news like this makes me realise how beautiful and important our interaction with anyone that crosses our path in life is regardless of who they are and where they come from.

“Be kind, life is [too] short[.] Such a privilege to have met you mate! R.I.P Lance Thompson.”

Former Cronulla forward Martin Lang said Thompson was a “genuinely good guy and a wholehearted, tough opponent.”