Student and ex-Sale Sharks academy player, 20, tragically dies after being hit by a car

A promising rugby union player and student, he had just finished his second year as was set to go and study abroad in the US.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 15th June 2023

A 20-year-old student from Manchester has tragically died after being hit by a car in Newcastle.

Liam O’Connor, a promising young rugby talent who played for the likes of Didsbury, Heaton Moor, Lancashire and Sale Sharks as an academy player, sadly passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning, 10 June, after being struck by a car in the Jesmond area of the city.

According to reports, emergency services were called to the scene after calls about a young man being hit by a silver Peugeot 308 and despite being rushed to hospital ultimately died from his injuries.

Preparing for a year abroad in San Jose, USA, Liam had just finished his second year at the University of Newcastle where he was studying maths and statistics and was also said to be considering a future in medicine. His former team issued an emotional tribute on socials upon hearing the news.

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Writing in the tribute, the club said: “Liam epitomised the spirit of Rugby Union, and always made his parents and teammates proud of his achievements.


“Everyone at Sale Sharks is completely heartbroken and our thoughts turn to Liam’s family, Joan, Mike, Sean, and Kathleen” — as do those of everyone here at The Manc.

Northumbria Police Sgt Steven Chappell said: “This is a truly devastating outcome” and assured they are committed “to getting answers” for his family, while his professor Nick Parker described him as a “popular student with a bright future ahead of him” who will be “greatly missed”.


His family have asked for privacy during this difficult time as the authorities continue their investigation.

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Featured Image — Northumbria Police/Google Maps