England rugby league international Natalie Harrowell has died suddenly, aged 29.
Tributes to the Hull-born forward poured in after her club Featherstone Rovers released a statement confirming her death. She leaves behind a young daughter, Olivia.
Harrowell made history in 2017 when she helped her side reach the first ever Women’s Super League Grand Final. She also earned three caps on the international stage for England, which a spokesperson for Featherstone said she was “determined to add to” in the future.
The 29-year-old also won the club’s Woman of Steel award earlier this year, which honoured her impressive season with the Yorkshire team.
“Natalie was one of the longest serving players within the women's side and a leader both on and off the field,” read the club’s official statement.
Harrowell is remembered for her loyalty to Featherstone Rovers and her dedication to growing the women’s game. She was also a lifelong supporter of her hometown club Hull FC.
“She was very passionate about Women's Rugby League and growing the sport and getting more young girls involved in the sport through her role at Wakefield Trinity.”
The spokesperson for the club added: "As a player she was Featherstone through and through, turning down many opportunities to play at other clubs.”
Chief executive of Rugby Football League Ralph Rimmer also paid his respects to Harrowell: “This is tragic news. I know all involved in rugby league will join me in sending their deepest sympathy to Natalie's family, friends and team-mates.”
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