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Sport stars from across the North West pay tribute to Kobe Bryant

Mr Bryant died in a helicopter crash in California yesterday. Credit: PA

Sport stars from across the North West have paid tribute to retired basketball player Kobe Bryant after he died in a helicopter crash.

Former Los Angeles Lakers star Bryant, 41, died alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others in the crash in Southern California on Sunday morning.

Manchester United and Marcus Rashford paid tribute to Bryant on Twitter, with Rashford saying that he was "a true inspiration in the sporting industry".

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Widely considered one of the best basketball players ever and one of the highest-profile sporting figures in the US, Bryant's death was mourned around the world.

He who won five NBA championships during his playing career at the LA Lakers.

Raheem Sterling and former Bolton Wanderers player, Fabrice Muamba, have also paid tribute.

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Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history, finishing two decades with the Lakers as a prolific scorer with a sublime all-around game and a relentless competitive ethic.

He held that spot in the league scoring ranks until Saturday night, when the Lakers' LeBron James passed him for third place during a game in Philadelphia, Bryant's home town.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the crash.