Stephen Laybutt Obituary- The former Socceroos player, Stephen Laybutt, 46, was found dead on Sunday. Laybutt was reported missing on Saturday and was last seen alive at a house on Friday in Casuarina.
Stephen’s body was found in bushland near Cabarita Beach at about 7 pm on Sunday. He played 15 matches for the Australian soccer team from 1998-2000.
Laybutt’s career ended in 2008 after he ruptured his Achilles tendon while playing for the Newcastle Jets. Stephen grew up in Wollongong and began his soccer journey with Wollongong Wolves in 1995.
The journeyman defender played for several clubs and made headlines in 2021 for his kind act. The former soccer player had donated his kidney to a man he met while working at a rehab center.
Stephen Laybutt Obituary & Death Cause
The former Australian soccer player Stephen Laybutt’s body was found in bushland on the NSW Far North Coast. Laybutt, 46, had traveled from Sydney to Casuarina to visit friends.
The former Socceroos player was last seen alive on Friday. The police were alerted on Saturday morning when he could not be contacted. The authorities shared a CCTV image of Laybutt to social media, and he could be seen wearing patterned blue boardshorts and a light blue T-shirt.
The soccer player’s death has not been treated as suspicious, but a few on social media have speculated that Laybutt might have committed suicide.
Luke Wilkshire was one of many who paid their tributes to Stephen on social media. Stephen’s former teammate wrote, “We all need to do better,” and “Sadly, players are easily forgotten.”
Those choices of words have made many Australian soccer fans believe that Stephen’s cause of death could be suicide. One social media user also wrote that there are many 100m+ cliffs in the place where Stephen’s body was found.
Former Socceroos captain Craig Foster also paid tribute to his teammate. He wrote, “Stephen was a gentle, kind soul, which was not always the norm in professional football, and stood out for his thoughtful nature.
An immensely talented player, his loss will be felt deeply by all his former colleagues.”
Laybutt’s former team, Newcastle Jets, shared a statement and said they were deeply saddened to learn of his passing.
Stephen Laybutt Act Of Kindness Won’t Be Forgotten
In 2021, the former Socceroos player made headlines as it was revealed he had donated his kidney to a man he met while working in rehab.
Stephen was working in the rehab unit at St Vincent’s Private Hospital when he met Ian Pavey. Pavey was admitted to St Vincent for his knee replacement surgery. But that was a minor concern compared to his failing kidneys.
Pavey’s failing kidneys required dialysis for the past three years. The Australian soccer player said he just liked Pavey’s positive attitude, which made him think it was the right thing to do.
In his interview, Laybutt said it took him to explain to his family and friends what he was about to do. Pavey’s wife wanted to donate her kidneys, but after months of testing, it was considered incompatible.
Laybutt didn’t even want this story to gain attention, but his friend informed it to the Sydney Herald.
Stephen had previously come out as gay after retiring from the sport in 2008. In his interview with Herald, he touched on the topic of how he could never have done that when he was playing soccer.
A few journalists had approached Laybutt, but he never returned their calls. Laybutt said he went into hiding and wasn’t ready to come out.
But in his last interview in 2021, Stephen shared he was comfortable in his skin and wasn’t embarrassed or ashamed of who he was.