Rugby league has been struck by the sad news of one of the game’s best journalist’s passing.
Ian Laybourn, who had only just retired at the end of the World Cup, has sadly passed away at the age of 67 and the RFL have made a touching tribute to him.
“The RFL sends the deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ian Laybourn, the former Press Association Rugby League correspondent who has died at the age of 67.
“Ian covered the sport for the vast majority of his working life, initially for the Batley News, then the Huddersfield Examiner, before joining PA in 1994 and becoming their correspondent two years later – a position he held for more than a quarter of a century until retiring following the Rugby League World Cup last November.
“He was added to the RFL Roll of Honour last year when Ralph Rimmer, then the RFL Chief Executive, thanked him for covering the sport “with diligence, wisdom and care for almost five decades”.”
Meanwhile, Jon Dutton, the Chief Executive of RLWC2021, said: “This is so sad. Ian was a thoroughly good human being who cared deeply about the sport.”
As a fellow journalist, he was one of the best, respected by all of his peers and a great guide for the younger members of the press box.
He will be sorely missed.