TRIBUTES have flooded in for a popular rugby player who died in a tragic car accident last week.

Travis Smith, 20, a former rugby player for Dalton ARLFC and Barrow Raiders Academy, was tragically pronounced dead in hospital after his Audi A3 collided with a double decker bus in Godley Lane, Halifax on Wednesday.

Young members of the Dalton team paid their respects by observing a minutes silence before the Dalton U9s vs Dalton U10 game on Friday.

Ian Gordon, club secretary of Dalton ARLFC, said: “It's a shocker, it was a tragic car accident in Halifax.

"He came over and knew a couple of the lads through work, we knew he played rugby league and rugby union so one of the lads asked him to come and train. He enjoyed it and signed on for us, he played about a season and a half. He really integrated himself well into the team.

"He was a nice lad. Most people say that when someone has died, but he really was a smashing lad. He played the game as you should, tough but not nasty.

"He settled back over in Yorkshire but he kept in touch with the lads. Sometimes people leave a club and you lose contact, but they never did with Travis. We have good memories and had good laughs. He was always a joker.

"It's gutting for the team, the players are feeling it a bit. He was really loved. You can see it from the outpouring of the grief. It's a young lad gone, it's such a shame.

"There is a go fund me for his memorial. The rugby lads have chipped in and sent over £600 to make sure he has a good send off. We have sent over a Dalton rugby shirt as part of his memorial.

"It's just tragic, nobody will have a bad word to say about him. The best die young.

"Quite a few people have said 'once a dragon, always a dragon' and I think it's nice for his girlfriend and family to see he was well thought of over here, even if he did harp on about Yorkshire all the time!"

Paul Crarey, head coach at Barrow Raiders, said: “He was a fantastic kid, when he played for the academy he played with no fear. He was well-liked with all of his teammates. It's such tragic news and circumstances and our thoughts are with all of his family. He played with a big-heart.

David Cairns, Academy coach at Barrow Raiders, said: “Travis was a great kid, tough as teak, would play anywhere he was asked. He just wanted to run hard. He wasn’t the biggest kid but he had a big heart and played well above his weight. He was very popular with his teammates, he had a great personality, he will be sadly missed by everyone and our thoughts are with his family”

You can donate to the fundraiser, which has reached almost £9,000, at: