TRIBUTES have been paid to a cyclist who died following a crash with a horse box lorry near Temple Guiting.

Alexander Ward has been described by his family and friends as a “humorous young man” who was “full of smiles”.

The 23-year-old, who lived in Cambridge, died in a crash on the B4077 near Ford on Sunday, July 8. The 58-year-old driver was uninjured.

His mum Ute said: “Alex grew up always curious, learning and smiling. Not only was he a high achiever, his honest and outgoing nature won him numerous friends.

“We are all numb and completely devastated by Alex’s sudden death. We don’t know what happened, but what we do know is it that all of us, his family, friends and colleagues, have lost someone special and a light no longer shines in our lives.”

As Alex lived in the vicinity of Cambridge Airport he had always wanted to fly and took up gliding when he was 14 and flew solo on his 16th birthday.

He went on to win several awards and he flew competitively at a national level. In 2011 he won the British Gliding Association Spitfire Trophy for coming top of the under 25s national gliding ladder.

His girlfriend of seven years, Megan Carpenter, said: “He really enjoyed cycling in the area – carrying on from cycling in Bristol and Cambridge.”

His skills and passion led him to GE Aviation at Bishop’s Cleeve, near Cheltenham, where he had been working for almost a year since he graduated.