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West Yorkshire school pays tribute to 'talented' former pupil who died in Ibiza swimming pool tragedy

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A 19-year-old who has died in Ibiza was a talented rugby player who had a zest for life and always made people smile, his former school has said in a touching tribute.

Staff and students at Minsthorpe Community College in South Elmsall say they are devastated to learn of the death of former pupil Ben Crawford.

He was found unconscious in the swimming pool of a private villa in the resort of Playa d'en Bossa in the early hours of Sunday morning. CPR was performed but he was pronounced dead.

West Yorkshire teenager dies in Ibiza swimming pool tragedy

A statement issued by principal Ray Henshaw on behalf of the school says: "Ben was a lovely young man who touched the lives of all who knew him."

The tribute continues: "He was thoughtful and kind and had a cheeky side that always made others smile. He was also full of fun and had a zest for life- we will never forget the time the year when he dressed up as Wonder Woman for sports day!

"Ben was respectful, he always treated others well and was highly thought of by everyone that met him. He made a huge impact on his local community, many of whom will keenly feel his loss.

"No words are enough to express our sadness at the loss of such a young life, one that was so full of promise and potential."

The teenager boxed at the college for five years and was also an "extraordinary" rugby player, the statement says.

It reads: "He played for the college rugby team from Year 8 when we first discovered the huge talent that he had.

"He was always so tough, funny and a great lad and his scholarship at Castleford Tigers showed his character and the calibre of player he had become.

"The last match he played for the college was as part of the team that was victorious in the Yorkshire final."

Mr Henshaw said: "Our thoughts, condolences and love go out to his family and friends."

The school has set aside talking space for staff and students affected by the sad news and a counsellor will be present tomorrow.

Mr Crawford was part of the open age division of Upton ARLFC and had played with the club through its junior teams.

Secretary and chairman Dave Welsh said: "He was finding his feet in open age and he was playing really well. He was a nice character, everybody liked him. Everyone's in shock."

He added: "Nobody had a word word for him. he was polite and well mannered, always well-presented."

Tributes continue to be paid to Mr Crawford on social media

Elisha Huddlestone wrote on Facebook: "Taken far too young, was a pleasure being able to say I knew you rest in peace Ben Crawford thoughts are with your family friends and girlfriend."

Ashleiigh Lynch said: "You never know what's around the corner live life to the fullest and be happy! Can't really believe am writing this tbh, But I went all way through little school and high school with you and you'll always be such a good lad! You didn't deserve this at all.. R.I.P Ben Crawford party hard and forever up on them clouds!"

Jack Swain said: "I'd like to say thank you for being part of my life I honestly don't know what i will do without you, we’ve had so many good times! Wow i miss you so much already i just wish i could talk to you one last time, you weren’t only my best mate but you were my brother! I feel empty and lost without you! I hope you’ll save me a seat up there next to you! I love you❤️ fly high brother ❤️❤️till we meet again."