One of Loughborough University's former students, Rhys Franklin, sadly passed away on Sunday 27th October.
Always full of life and energy, Rhys devoted his time to so many different activities. When he Rhys was younger, he was a dedicated member of the Air Training Corps’ Ortons 51 Squadron for 6 years. He reached the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer and was highly regarded by other members of the ATC. Not only this, he also played rugby for the ATC, achieved his Duke of Edinburgh awards and went to Kenya to help build a school for underprivileged children. He managed to do all of these amazing, inspirational things whilst completing his GCSE's and A Levels at Jack Hunt School in Peterborough.
Whilst at the University, Rhys was a key part of his hall's life. Not only was he Butler Court Hall Chair, but he was frequently involved with activities such as IMS, Action and RAG. In particular, Rhys was a key member of the IMS rugby squad. He influenced many people outside of Butler Court as well through his involvement on numerous committees such as HSF, and networking at events like the Action Awards. All of these things, combined with his constant happy face and positive attitude, made him well known by so many on campus especially those from his halls in Butler Court.
After leaving Loughborough University, he began working full time at O2 in Cambridge. Rhys worked at O2 before attending University and continued to work for them part time throughout his time at Loughborough. He was an extremely valued member of the team at O2 and once received an award, previous to his university studies, for being the UK's Best Junior Salesman. Rhys' mother Pauline Woodhams has said that "He excelled at everything but seemed to do it all so effortlessly. He gave 100 per cent to everything he did".
Rhys' Facebook page has been flooded with tributes since Sunday, with many describing him as the life and soul of the party who always had a smile on his face. At this difficult time our thoughts go out to Rhys' family, girlfriend and friends, who have also paid touching tributes to Rhys' Facebook site. Lauren Parker, Rhys' girlfriend, has said that "he is never lost as he will always have a place in my heart. As we always used to say Rhys.. never goodbye but see you soon". This touching tribute resonated greatly with all that knew Rhys well.
A group of Loughborough University students close to Rhys will be paying their respects at his funeral on Friday 8th November. A remembrance book will be opened for those who also wish to pay their respects. Details of when and where this be will be released as soon as possible.
Rhys, you will forever be in our hearts and our memories. Gone but never forgotten.
Ashleigh Ann Day