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Hockey player, 18, dies as his school pays tribute to ‘rising star’ who ‘touched the lives of pals’

TRIBUTES have poured in following the death of a “wonderful and gifted” 18-year-old hockey player.

Chris Figgis, 18, died in a barn near his home in Graveney, Kent, where his father runs a farm, on October 29.

Chris Figgis, 18, died in a barn near his home in Kent

The schoolboy was a rising star of his local hockey club and deputy head boy at Kent College, where he had recently received to grades in his A-levels.

The school has opened a remembrance book in his memory.

Headmaster Mark Turnball said: “The Kent College community is deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Chris Figgis.

“Chris was a student who really participated in school life, and it is so incredibly sad to think that such a talented person has now left us.

“We will all greatly miss his wonderfully dry humour and the manner in which he made everyone feel so welcome in the school.”

Mr Turnball added that Chris “touched the lives of many colleagues and pupils”.

One of Chris’ classmates, Anna Silver, wrote a touching message in the school condolence book.

She said: “The world has lost such a wonderful person.

“Chris has always been there for all of us, and I know that as a year group we will never be the same again.”

Meanwhile, fellow pupil Jackie Spencer revealed that her most vivid memories of Chris were “his engaging smile and sense of fun”.

Canterbury Hockey Club held a minute’s silence before all their matches this past weekend in memory of one of their star players.

A spokesman for the club said: “Chris played all the way through the junior section at Canterbury Hockey Club and was part of a successful side that won numerous county and regional titles, going on to play in numerous England Hockey national finals.

“He was an exceptional defender with great vision and versatility.

“His determination to support his team and ability to play under pressure coupled with his undoubted skill brought great success to the teams he played in.”

Olympic hockey silver medallist Mel Clewlow responded to the news of his death, describing it as “incredibly tragic”.

Tributes flooded in from the community, including the local cricket club.

An inquest into his death was opened on October 30 but was adjourned, with a full hearing set to take place on January 23 2023.

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