Tributes flood in for young Halifax man described as "one of the good guys" who died in crash

Tributes have been pouring in for a much-loved young Halifax man who died after a crash on Wednesday night.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 1:05 pm
Floral tributes at the scene of the crash

Travis Smith, a 20-year-old tree surgeon, was well known and liked by many in the local rugby community and his death has left his club and countless others reeling.

"He was one of life's characters," said John Normington, committee member for Travis's club Keighley Albion RLFC.

"He was a people magnet. He had that ability to connect with people and have a positive effect on them."

Travis Smith

Travis had just signed back with the Keighley team on the day of the accident on Godley Lane.

He was driving a black Audi A3 which was involved in a collision with a double-decker bus travelling in the opposite direction.

He previously played with Ovenden RLFC but had rejoined the Keighley Club, where he had played when he was younger, after agreeing to a bet that he would sign back up if Keighley beat Ovenden in a recent match.

Travis started playing rugby as a child and played for teams in Bradford and Bingley before joining Keighley Albion.

He was also a big Leeds United fan and enjoyed shooting and fishing.

"He loved the outdoors," said John. "Some of his friends have been out walking Scafell Pike for him.

"He was one of those kids who are really genuine. If he made a commitment, he stuck to it.

"For a lad of his age, he had done a lot. He lived life."

Travis had moved back to Halifax after studying to become a tree surgeon in Cumbria and was starting to build up his own business.

"He knew at a young age what he wanted to do and you knew he was going to succeed at it," said John.

"He had that get up and go to advance himself.

"It's just so sad. He was one of the good guys. It's just tragic."

Tributes have been paid to Travis from other clubs and this weekend Keighley Albion held a minute's applause for the popular player before all their teams' matches.

"Players are very upset," said John. "There's been a few tears over the last few days."

The club has donated over £1,000 to a fundraiser which has been set up online in Travis's memory.

Started just two day ago, the collection has already well surpassed its original £500 target, raising more than £10,000.

One contributor posted: "Rest easy up there Travis, you were loved by many and always will be."

Another said: "Our lads played with and knew Travis. Cracking lad. One of a kind. Heart of gold."

Shaun Smith, from Ovenden RLFC, said he knew Travis from working with him as well as from the club.

"He was a nice lad. He was really well-mannered and polite, especially for his age. You couldn't fault him.

"He will be missed by everyone at the club."

Friends of Travis were holding a balloon release for him in Bingley today..

To donate to the online fundraiser, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/rachael-banham