A LEEDS University student is believed to be among nine Britons killed in the MH17 crash.
Tributes on social media have been pouring in for student Richard Mayne, 20, a Leeds University student believed to have been on the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur which crashed yesterday afternoon.
Friends on Twitter and Facebook said he was a maths and finance undergraduate at the university and had previously studied at The Dixie Grammar School in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire.
Peaches Furborough tweeted: “Richard Mayne RIP #FlightMH17 so sad. #mktbosworth thinking of the family, can’t believe it.”
Leeds Uni Rugby Union tweeted: “Hearts go out to the friends & family of Richard Mayne, a popular clubman taken from us too soon. We pay tribute to an honest and kind man.
“Richard Mayne was a bloody great bloke and I can’t imagine how his family and close friends must be feeling, it’s utterly horrendous news.”
Mr Mayne’s personal Facebook page features pictures from a recent trip to Everest Base Camp, as part of Leeds RAG, which raised money for the charity Kidasha, which supports disadvantaged and vulnerable children in Nepal.
Writing on his JustGiving page, Mr Mayne said: “A BIG thank you to everyone supporting this cause and helping me to reach the £3,000 which will change the lives of so many children!”
Leeds RAG tweeted: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of RAG member Richard Mayne on board MH17. Thoughts and sympathy are with his family and friends.”
A spokesperson from the University of Leeds said: “We are very saddened to hear the news that one of our students, Richard Mayne, is believed to be a passenger on the flight. Our thoughts are with Richard’s family and friends. Richard had just finished his second year in maths and finance and he was doing well with his studies. Staff are working with the University’s counselling service to help students who are affected by this tragedy and we will do all we can to support them.”
A Leeds University Union spokesperson said: “We are still awaiting official confirmation that our student Richard Mayne was aboard the Malaysian flight MH17. We know this is an extremely distressing time for Richard’s family, friends and fellow students and our thoughts are with them all as we wait to hear news from the airline.
“We can confirm that Richard is a popular and well-connected member of the student community here at Leeds and if his life has been lost, his presence will be greatly missed on campus. We urge all students affected by this situation to seek support from our Student Advice Centre”
Headmaster at The Dixie Grammar School, John R Wood, said the school community was “devastated to hear the tragic news” of Mr Mayne’s death on the Malaysian Airlines flight.
He said: “Richard left us two years ago and he had just completed his second year at Leeds University, where he was studying Mathematics with Finance.
“Richard was a great all rounder, good academically and also a keen sportsman. He was a member of our successful rugby team which won the Independent Schools Association Under 18 National Rugby 7s in 2012. It is indicative of his high standing at school that Richard was our Deputy Head Boy, having been appointed following a rigorous selection process which included a vote by all students and staff.
“But more importantly than this, Richard was an extremely pleasant and thoughtful young man who gave his time generously for everyone. I last saw him just a month ago, when he talked with me excitedly about his trip to Everest Base Camp earlier this year. He had gone on this expedition with a fellow former student of ours and they had been raising money for a children’s charity.
“Richard had a great thirst for life and he wanted to make the world a better place. It is tragic that his life has been cut short, especially under these circumstances - he had such a great future ahead of him.”
“The thoughts of all of us at The Dixie Grammar School are with Richard’s family and friends at this most difficult time; he will be sorely missed.”
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said it was unable to confirm the identities of any of the Britons killed.
Keep checking for updates, and pay your tribute below.