HEARTBREAKING tributes have poured in for the young Brit with a “cheeky smile” who drowned in a hotel swimming pool while on holiday in Cyprus.
The tragic 21-year-old rugby player who has been named as Ben Woods was found unconscious at the pool by hotel guests at the King Evelthon Hotel in Paphos on Tuesday.
The young man from Leigh, Wigan, was pulled out of the water but despite desperate attempts to revive him, he could not be saved.
He died shortly after in intensive care at Paphos General Hospital.
Now devastated friends and family have shared emotional tributes to “a lovely young man” who will be “truly missed”.
Ben’s loving aunt Joanne Bennet said she is still in shock after her nephew’s death and paid tribute to a “brilliant young man”.
She told : “Ben was the life and soul of any party, he would just walk into a room and it’d just lit up.
“His personality was fantastic, he was so well known.
“We are going to miss him, we can’t believe what happened, we just can’t.
“A 21-year-old, we are shocked. We just can’t believe it”
“He had such a great sense of humour he was just funny all the time. He was brilliant.”
“No one has a bad word to say about him.”
Joanne said her sister, Ben’s mum is too “traumatised” to speak at the moment and “just wants to get home”.
She added: “His family is devastated they’re so heartbroken.
“It’s been really hard for the parents.”
Meanwhile, Leigh East Rugby League Club, where Ben has played since he was a child paid tribute to a “valuable member” who “was always there with a cheeky smile and will be sorely missed.”
The 1918 Leigh Town Team, where Ben had worked as an apprentice paid tribute to ” a lovely young man who touched the lives of some of our members”.
The young man’s coach said he will miss the “loveable kid who enjoyed life” and had “an infectious smile and a crazy sense of humour”.
One of Ben’s heartbroken friends posted on social media: “Really am lost for words, what a cruel world we live in RIP to one of the most down-to-earth, caring and realist lads you’ll ever meet Ben Woods you’ll be well and truly missed by us all.
“Never disappointed to put a smile on all the lads’ faces no matter what mood we was in fly high up there mate send love and thoughts to all the Woods family.”
Another friend said Ben was “always in the centre of making everyone smile, laugh, dance & have a great time.”
One of Ben’s close friends said he was “gutted” about the loss of an “absolute legend” who always “made time for anyone and made them giggle!”
Another one of Ben’s mates said “the world is definitely a duller place” without “one of the nicest lads you could ever wish to meet.”
Ben was on holiday on the island with his parents when the tragedy occurred at the hotel in the Tombs of the Kings area.
A Brit who witnessed the incident blamed the lifeguards saying they were “poorly trained” and were “sitting too far” from the body was found in Cyprus hotel.
He told : “From where they sit they would not be able to see what’s happening, it’s a good 100m away.
“They were just two lads probably in their early 20s if that and they didn’t seem geared up for the job.”
Another hotel guest described the incident as “heartbreaking to watch”.
She wrote in a Facebook post: “It really was heartbreaking to watch.
“They were working on him for ages but didn’t get anywhere.
“The poor woman that found him is in a right state bless her.”
Police are currently investigating the incident in Cyprus hotel.
They have ruled out the possibility of any criminal activity.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are providing consular support to the family of a British national who has died in Cyprus.”
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