Siobhan Cattigan: Rugby and sport figures pay emotional tributes to Scottish international and 'influence' on the game

Scottish sport supporters, and world rugby fans, have been reacting to the death of Siobhan Cattigan, announced on Tuesday night.

Scotland’s Siobhan Cattigan during the anthems before the Women's Six Nations match between Scotland and Italy at Scotstoun Stadium, on April 17, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Scotland’s Siobhan Cattigan during the anthems before the Women's Six Nations match between Scotland and Italy at Scotstoun Stadium, on April 17, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The Scotland international, who played 19 times for her country, died on Friday aged 26 her club Stirling County and the Scottish rugby union said in a joint statement.

The news was met with shock and figures across the country, in women’s sport and the world- not only in rugby - moved to pay respect to the international back-row, a part of Scotland’s Six Nations campaign earlier this year.

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Colleagues in the game south of the border including England’s head of women’s rugby Rachel Burford and Rocky Clark, also passed on tributes and support. “My thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to Siobhan’s family, friends and team mates.” wrote Burford. Clark described the 26-year-old as “ a great woman”.

Former Welsh international and Barbarians player, and the current Sale Sharks women’s coach, Rachel Taylor wrote: “Such tragic news, thoughts are with family,friends and the Scottish rugby community at such a difficult time.” Rugby 7s Olympian Abbie Brown wrote: “Thoughts go out to my Scottish friends and her family.”

Closer to home, rugby development officer at neighbouring Falkirk Rugby club Duncan McKinstray added: “Devastating news, my sincerest condolences to her family, friends, teammates at Stirling County and former teammates from Stirling University.”

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Former Scotland men’s captain Andy Nicol reacted to the “very sad news, thoughts with Siobhan’s family and friends.”

Across the sporting spectrum, football coach Craig Joyce and Scotland and Olympic basketball star Kieron Achara also paid tribute after the “utterly heartbreaking” and “tragic” news. Aileen Campbell added: “Sending condolences to all who knew and loved Siobhan on behalf of everyone @ScotWFootball xx.”

Cattigan leaves a lasting legacy on rugby fans, hailed as an inspiration for younger players.

Rugby fan Paul Wellcoat wrote: “Ah so sad, such an influence in the women’s game and to our younger players.”

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Colin Warrick added: “Siobhan always had a kind word of encouragement to players she played against or supporters she met.”

At Bridgehaugh, Stirling County paid a heartfelt tribute to ‘Shibby’ and specialist Scottish Rugby employees are now providing on-going support to those most closely affected by the news.

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