Tributes paid to courageous and talented young rider who died after being hit by car

Tributes have been paid to a talented young man who “enriched the lives of others”.

George Crawford, 20, an accomplished sportsman and rider with a passion for the countryside, died in hospital on 7 October after he was hit by a car while walking back to his college halls.

Due to a tragic identity mix-up, George’s family were unable to say goodbye to their son. He had been carrying a friend’s wallet at the time of the accident, resulting in police contacting the wrong family.

His father Cameron Crawford remembered George as a courageous and “wonderful” son with a talent for sport and enriching other people’s lives.

Last winter, he completed a ski guiding and advanced skiing course in Meribel and this summer took part in the “Rust 2 Rome” banger rally — a driving adventure in a car costing under £500 from Edinburgh to the Colosseum.

During the floods in December 2015, George, his uncle James Manners and huntsman Johnny Richardson drove a tractor through fast-flowing floodwater to rescue seven stranded horses.

“George was a larger than life character,” said Mr Crawford.

“He was quite dyslexic and he had quite a hard start to life before he went down to prep school at Aysgarth, where he met like-minded lads and really loved it there.”

George had success on the northern pony racing circuit, winning at point-to-point pony races as well as at fixtures on major northern racecourses.

“[When George was young], one of his Pony Club camp instructors had them going up and down jumping lanes, but George wasn’t satisfied with doing it without reins and without stirrups, he wanted to do it riding backwards, which he did,” remembered Mr Cameron.

George also evented alongside his younger sister Lucinda, and the siblings finished second and first in their respective sections at Kirriemuir in 2016 on the same day to both qualify for the under-18 national championships.

“George was a natural leader even though he didn’t know it, everyone was drawn to him, he had a magnetic personality and always seemed to draw the best out of people — horses too,”said Mr Crawford, adding that his son was a “true horseman” with natural balance and ability.

His other passions included skiing, enduro motocross, farming and the countryside, and he had many friends among the eventing community.

In recent years, George volunteered with his local branch of the Riding for the Disabled Association during his Duke of Edinburgh Award, and enrolled on an agricultural course at Newton Rigg Collge aged 16.

He was two weeks into a course at Harper Adams when the accident happened.

“In his halls (Bradford) at Harper Adams he managed to gel 24 students into a lovely group of friends and he had been there less than two weeks,”added Mr Crawford.

“He was a multi-talented, cracking young man with a twinkle in his eye, that was George.

“He was one of those people that wanted to help and wherever he went, he would make people feel comfortable.”

The police and George’s family are trying to trace his mobile phone and are urging anyone with information about what happened, or about his phone, to contact them.

The accident happened on Forton Road in Newport at 4.10am on Sunday, 7 October.

Call police on 101, quoting reference 106s 071018 with information.

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