Man who was found guilty of killing former Super League player avoids jail

In 2017, youngster Liam Walsh made his Widnes Vikings debut against Leeds Rhinos in a special moment for him and his family as he debuted for his how town club.

However, sadly shortly before midnight on September 18 of 2021 Walsh was hit by a car and passed away.

On Tuesday, the man who pleaded guilty to the offence was given his sentence and avoided prison.

Walsh was a second row by trade and lived out his dream playing for hometown club Widnes Vikings from 2017 to 2019.

Walsh made six appearances for the Vikings having emerged from the club’s academy.

He passed away after the incident on Cronton Road. It was deemed that he was close to the junction with College Fields when he was hit by a red Vauxhall Corsa.

He was taken to Whiston Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

This week the man charged with causing Liam’s death by careless driving appeared at Crown Court.

Several members of his family were reportedly present at the hearing this Tuesday.

The 58 year old pleaded guilty to the charge and will be sentenced next month. He was released on bail until that date by the Judge.

At the time of his passing, Widnes paid tribute to the former backrower.

“I am devastated to hear the news of Liam’s passing this morning,” chief executive Phil Finney said.

“Liam was a very special person and a very important part of our club for a number of years.

“He made a lasting impression on everyone he met with his sense of humour and contagious personality. He was a one-off and will be remembered with great fondness by all at the club who had the pleasure of knowing him.

“We are all thinking about his family and friends at this really sad time.”

Rugby Football League vice-president Mike Smith said: “This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to Liam’s family and friends.

“From what I hear of Liam, it is clear that he was a very popular young man of whom his family can be extremely proud. He’ll be greatly missed and we will offer the club and the family whatever support we can.”

At the sentencing yesterday, the man was given a sentence of 16 months, reduced to 10 months for his early guilty plea, suspended for two years.

According to Runcorn and Widnes, this was greeted with a cry of “bullsh*t.”