Tributes to Stroud teenager

The family of a Stroud teenager, who died after a car crash, have been paying tribute to a wonderful son, grandson, brother, nephew and cousin who always had a smile on his face.

18-year-old Nathan Smith died on Monday following a collision on the A46 near Brockworth.

"Nathan always made you laugh," his mum Tracey Smith said, "He just loved life and he never had any down times."

Nathan was part of an extremely close family, he leaves behind his mum Tracey Smith and his dad Neville Smith, his brother Gareth James 24 and his sister Holly Smith 14. 

He also leaves behind his Gran and Gramps, his aunts and uncles Ronnie, Stephen, Jill, Lynne, Nick and Martyn (Taff) and his cousins Martyn, Zara, Laura, Dean, Ellie-May, Ella, Tiffany and Nicole.

His close friends include Dan, Kris, Kelly, Adam, Sammy, Tom Cadwell, Tom Fox and so many more.

"He was such a popular lad, he had so many friends it is difficult to mention them all, the list is endless." his mum Tracey added.

Nathan also had his dog, a Bull Terrier called Blitz, "he walked her everyday, she really loved him, she wouldn’t stop barking yesterday, even she misses him terribly." His dad Neville commented.

Nathan went to Stroud Valley Primary School and then onto Thomas Keble School in Stroud.

He has been attending a plumbing course at Stroud College two days a week and then working with his dad at a conservatory and double glazing company called Trade Plas three days a week.

Nathan was a very active person who loved the outdoors.  He enjoyed playing and watching football, motorcross and fishing, his dad Neville said: "Nathan’s first love was football, he started playing when he was 8-years-old, he was really dedicated and very good, who knows how far he could have gone."

Nathan played for Golden Valley Rangers (GVR) throughout much of his youth starting in the under 8s team right up to the under 15s.

He also played for Forest Green Rovers under 14s, Stroud Town FC under 16s to under 18s and Stonehouse Town under 18s.

He was one of just three boys from the area that got picked from many hopefuls to try out for the Bristol Rovers Academy, "he didn’t get through but they said to come back and try again as he was definitely very talented." Neville said.

More recently Nathan has been playing with for Slimbridge FC Reserves which is a family team, his older cousin Martyn manages it and he played on the team with his older brother, his cousin and many of his close friends.

"Nathan never had a spare minute, he was just one of those kids who was active all the time," Neville said.

Tracey his mum said: "There was always people coming and going, popping in and out, he was just so popular.

"I knew he was a lovely boy, but I hadn’t realised just how highly he was thought of until all this happened, it has been quite overwhelming."

His sister Holly said: "I love my brother, he was so funny.  We used to fight like cat and dog, all brothers and sisters do, but it was always with a bit of a smile, I can’t quite imagine him not being here."

Nathan loved going out to pubs and clubs with his friends, "He was a typical 18 year old lad,” his mum Tracey said, “he turned 18 a month ago and was just so excited.  Nathan had such plans for this year, things he was going to do, places he was going to visit."

Tracey added: "I want to take this chance to say thank you to everyone for all the kindness and support, it really has been incredible. 

"All the people who have called in to the house or telephoned and the hundreds and hundreds of messages on Facebook, it is so comforting to know that Nathan touched the lives of so many people."

His dad Neville said: "Nathan’s team was Chelsea, he was blue through and through and as the Chelsea saying goes ‘stay carefree’, that was our Nathan, he will always stay carefree."