British teenage rugby player (16) dies while on French trip


Harry Sykes Photo: Facebook
Harry Sykes Photo: Facebook

A British teenager who died in France while on a rugby trip has been named as Harry Sykes.

The body of a boy was recovered from a lake near Carcassonne, in southern France, after Harry, 16, was reported missing on Wednesday evening.

He had been travelling with team-mates from Halifax Elite Rugby Academy.

In a statement on its Facebook page on Thursday, Halifax Rugby League Football Club said: “Halifax RLFC would like to express our condolences to the family and teammates of local young player Harry Sykes who has tragically passed away in France whilst on tour with his team from the Halifax Elite Rugby Academy.

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Harry Sykes 20.11.01 – 05.09.18
We are devasted beyond words to confirm that one of our players, Harry Sykes, passed…

Posted by Halifax Elite Rugby Academy on Thursday, September 6, 2018

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and teammates at this time.”

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “We are supporting the family of a British national following his death in Carcassonne, France, and we are in touch with the local authorities.”

Harry was taking part in a tour organised by Halifax Elite Rugby Academy, the Rugby Football League said.

The league’s chief executive, Ralph Rimmer, said: “We are extremely saddened by the tragic news that Halifax Elite Rugby Academy’s Harry Sykes has passed away.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Harry’s family, friends and teammates at this sad time.

“The RFL Benevolent Fund has been in contact and is providing support.”

The RFL Benevolent Fund said in a statement it was “deeply saddened to announce the tragic passing of 16-year-old Harry Sykes”.

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The statement added: “His family thank everyone for their kind thoughts but wish to be left alone at this most difficult of times.

“A further statement will be issued when appropriate.”

A local council official told Mail Online: “An alert was put out to emergency services and there was an extensive search of the water involving divers.

“It was just before 11pm on Wednesday that night divers found the body of the missing person after two hours in the water.”

The source said a post-mortem examination had taken place on Thursday and the results would be made available in due course.

Press Association

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