Trolls have targeted Liam Hampson’s teammates who spent hours searching for the footballer before he was found dead in a Spanish club.
Hampson was traveling around Europe with Gold Coast Titans fullback Alexander ‘AJ’ Brimson and Brisbane Broncos stars Jordan Riki and Jesse Arthars when his body was discovered in Barcelona’s Sala Apolo bar around midday on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old Redcliffe Dolphins player had been missing for 30 hours after walking away from friends at 4.30am on Tuesday.
Hampson was allegedly looking for a toilet when he was locked on a terrace before falling 14 meters over a wall.
Now, as his heartbroken loved ones struggle to come to terms with the tragedy, Hampson’s high-profile entourage is being subjected to cruel comments from strangers online.
The horrific taunts come as the footballer’s family praise the same friends for making the rising rugby league star’s final days “the best of his life”.
Liam Hampson, 24, (pictured) was found dead in a Spanish nightclub on Wednesday – around 30 hours after going missing at the same club
Trolls have targeted AJ Brimson (pictured centre, with his brothers Will (left) and Liam (right), who cheer on Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain). Both Brimson and Hampson shared the photo on their Instagram on Tuesday, in what would be the late footballer’s final post
Brimson bore the brunt of the insensitive remarks after posting a picture of him with his brother Will and Hampson at a European football match.
While many offered well wishes and their condolences, a handful of people left hurtful messages that Daily Mail Australia has chosen not to publish.
One of the same trolls also took to posting similar comments on pictures on Hampson’s social media page.
Others were quick to condemn the tasteless comments and rallied behind the grieving footballers.
“I’m so sorry Aj, stop reading the nasty comments and take them to heart,” one woman said.
‘You did what you could and as soon as you realized something was wrong you took action which is the most important thing his death is not your fault I promise ❤️ don’t let nasty hateful people get to you.’
“This is a terrible comment considering you weren’t there,” another person replied.
‘His friends were the ones who alerted him that he was missing after trying to contact him for hours. They are grieving and they have to come home without their mate. Think before you speak.’
Meanwhile, Hampson’s mother Lorna Morton spoke out on Friday for the first time since confirming her son’s death to thank his ‘close group of friends’ and the community for their support.
“We want to say that we are so happy that Liam’s last days were the best days of his life and we thank his close group of friends who were with him during these times,” she wrote on Facebook.
‘The memories he made and the friendship you shared will stay with us forever.’
Hampson is pictured with his mother Lorna Morton, holding drinks up for Christmas
Mrs Morton said the family ‘have been so comforted knowing how loved Liam was and the amount of lives he affected’.
“As a family, we want to thank not only his friends, but also the strangers who have reached out to us with their thoughts and well wishes,” she said.
‘We are overwhelmed by the love and support we have received and would like to thank everyone who donated to the fund or sent flowers and for every message we have received.’
Riki launched a GoFundMe earlier this week that raised $72,448 in a matter of hours to bring Hampson’s body home and to support his grieving family.
Hampson and his group of pals posted dozens of photos from their adventure-filled travels over the past month, including photos from Paris, Ibiza, Amsterdam, Munich and Positano in Italy.
While documenting his journey online, Hampson wrote in one of his last posts “my life is amazing”.
Albert Guijarro, director of Sala Apolo, told local media on Thursday that CCTV footage showed Hampson leaving the main room of Apolo through an emergency door, despite one of his friends trying to stop him.
He then went through another emergency door, Mr. Guijarro said, onto a large terrace before realizing that the doors he had passed through could not be opened from the outside.
Liam Hampson was found dead on the floor by venue staff at Barcelona’s Sala Apolo nightclub (pictured). He allegedly fell from a height of 14 meters
Hours before his death was confirmed, Gold Coast Titans back AJ Brimson posted a photo of his friend Liam Hampson in the clothes he was last seen wearing
The club director said Hampson saw a 50m wall and ‘without thinking’ jumped over it and fell into a void with ducts running through it.
Guijarro said the path Hampson took was “very clear and lit” and that he “took a leap towards a place that wasn’t even in the middle of his route” and “it wasn’t well understood” why he took it decision.
After losing contact with Hampson, his friends immediately launched a social media campaign to find him, with his missing person poster going viral as Australians and Europeans alike joined the hunt to track him down.
But the search ended in tragedy 30 hours after he went missing when he was discovered by staff who found him after following the sound of a faint mobile phone.
“A mobile phone rang with a sound … we didn’t know where it was coming from, we finally saw that it was coming from the canals,” Mr Guijarro said.
The venue has offered its ‘deepest condolences’ to Hampson’s family and has handed the footage over to the police.
Police have released separate information about the incident, which is consistent with the club’s version of events.
Hampson (pictured) was a key member of the Redlands Dolphins Queensland Cup team
Hampson’s friend and traveling companion, Broncos player Jordan Riki posted a series of heartbreaking tributes on social media to his ‘beautiful brother’
Respected Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia, citing unidentified police sources, said: ‘The friends he was with lost sight of him and thought he had felt unwell and had gone back to the hotel.
‘But he was not there when they got to his room and after waiting what they thought was a reasonable amount of time, he spoke to his family and alerted the police, while they appealed for the public’s help to find him .’
The newspaper confirmed earlier information from police that his body was found in an internal courtyard, which was not in a ‘public area’ of the club, but offered new information, adding: ‘The young man had fallen into an internal courtyard from a height of 14 meters and died instantly.
“The police have concluded from a reconstruction of the victim’s movements that he must have got lost instead and tried to get somewhere else through what turned out to be an emergency door.
“It led to a room in which was a small wall, he got over without difficulty, not seeing, on account of the darkness, that on the other side there was a fall to the inner court, into which he threw himself.”
Tributes have poured in for Hampson as devastated friends remember the young footballer as a ‘beautiful soul’.
He had been on the trip of a lifetime, traveling around Europe with friends including Titans fullback Alexander ‘AJ’ Brimson (pictured right with Hampson) and Broncos stars Jordan Riki and Jesse Arthars
Hampson (top left) during his European holiday with other young rugby league stars including Jordan Riki (front left)
‘My life is great.’ Italy’s Afalfi coast was one of the highlights of Liam Hampson’s trip
‘I love you my brother, your beautiful soul, I’m so sorry,’ Riki wrote on Instagram.
‘Can’t put into words how I feel, I love you bro, I’m so sorry.’
“Waking up to the news that no one wants to hear, we are devastated to learn that Liam had an accident and sadly did not survive,” his father Brett wrote on Facebook.
‘We are devastated to say the least. Liam had a heart of gold and was a much loved son, brother, grandson, uncle and friend. Words cannot express our sorrow.
“We can’t thank his mates enough for being there with Liam who had the time of his life and helped search for our boy. Our thoughts are with them.’
In the GoFundMe description, Riki wrote that Hampson was ‘an outstanding talent on and off the football field… helping teammates… and educating kids’.
“Liam was a beautiful soul who brought people together with his love, wisdom and jokes,” he wrote.
Among the more than 1,600 people to contribute were footy stars Kalyn Ponga, Alex Glenn, Reece Walsh, Brendan Piakura, Anthony Don, Paul Sironen and Charlotte Caslick.
Riki disabled donations after the fundraiser easily exceeded its original $50,000 goal.
Playing hooker for the Redcliffe Dolphins, Hampson recently helped steer his team to the Queensland Cup grand final where they were narrowly beaten 16-10 by the Norths Devils.
The Dolphins will make their NRL debut next season under the helm of coaching legend Wayne Bennett.