Popular rugby player dies suddenly aged 33 after falling unwell at home as tributes pour in

Popular rugby player dies suddenly aged 33 after falling unwell at home as tributes pour in

A POPULAR rugby player has died suddenly aged 33 after falling unwell at home.

Former second-row Kristian Smith, from Blaina, Wales, passed away in hospital on Saturday evening.

Media WalesFormer second-row Kristian Smith passed away in hospital on Saturday evening[/caption]

Ponty Pool RugbyHe died suddenly aged 33 after falling unwell at home[/caption]

Kristian was known as ‘Long Dog’ by his friends and played for a number of clubs including Blaina, Cardiff, Merthyr, Tredegar and Nantyglo.

He hung up his boots a couple of years ago due to an injury.

Former club Pontypool posted their condolences in a short statement.

A spokesperson said: “It is with huge sadness that we have learned of the passing of former second-row Kristian Smith.

“Kristian made his debut for Pontypool on the 1st October 2011 in a fixture against Aberavon at the Talbot Athletic Ground.

“He made 16 appearances in total with his final game coming at Pontypool Park against Bedlinog on the 22nd October 2016.

“Everyone at Pontypool RFC sends their deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to Kristian’s family and friends at this very sad and difficult time.”

Blaina hosted an event to remember their former player.

A statement read: “Kristian was a larger-than-life character whose infectious energy touched everyone who knew him.

“More than just a friend, he was a beacon of joy and laughter, always able to make people smile with his quick wit and warm heart.

“Yesterday’s gathering showed just how much he meant to so many.

“His absence leaves a huge void deeply felt by his family, friends, and all who had the privilege of knowing him.

“Kristian had a unique talent for bringing people together and forging lasting connections.

“We send our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to Kristian’s family and friends during this very sad and difficult time.”

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