Tributes are continuing to pour in after the death of young farmer James Corfield at the Royal Welsh Show.
The body of the 19-year-old was recovered from a deep pool in the River Wye on Sunday (July 30) following an extensive search operation by Dyfed-Powys Police, Wales YFC and local rescue volunteers.
The tragedy has put the spotlight on safety around the showground and led the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (RWAS) to ramp up health and safety measures ahead of next year’s show.
The youngster’s cricket club paid tribute to ‘a loyal and talented sportsman’ after his family released an emotional statement.
The club said: “All at Montgomery cricket club are devastated by the tragic death of James Corfield.
“The Corfield family are in our hearts. The whole family are very much involved in the Cricket Club as well as the community of Montgomery.
“This is a very sad time for us all. Montgomery Cricket Club is very much a community club, and all the Corfield family have been part of our family for many years.
“Not only does James’s father Brian, known by his nickname of George, captain the 2nd XI, his brother Thomas opens the batting for the 2nd XI, and his sister Emma plays for the U13 youth side, his mother Louise helps organise other ladies (mothers, partners, sisters and more) to provide Montgomery’s famous cricket teas.
“James and Thomas were often seen at Lymore helping prepare the ground, or running the local cricket knockout.
“At the end of last season James Corfield was awarded both our batting and bowling cups following an outstanding season that saw him develop a potential that had been obvious to club members for many years.
“We have seen him grow from a young lad, join our youth section and emerge into the senior teams, and at every stage there was a sense of expectation amongst team mates and supporters whenever he picked up the bat or ball.
“A genuinely fast bowler and attacking batsman, his talents made him the Shropshire Division Two Cricketer of the Year and the League’s Young Player of the Year in 2016. So successful was James last year that we joked with the family that they would need extra shelves to show off all his trophies.
“We have been very fortunate to have had James as part of our life in Montgomery Cricket Club. He was a huge talent, even at only 19 years old. After such a brilliant season in 2016 he was approached by clubs in higher divisions, but he told them he wanted to stay in Montgomery. His loyalty says much about James as a person.
His family issued the following statement: “James was very much a farming family guy – farming was his life and he loved his animals with a passion.
“A visit to the Royal Welsh Show was a real highlight for him, and seeing the sheep and poultry judging was something he really looked forward to. He went to the Royal Welsh Show every year throughout his life, and we have fond memories of taking him as a child, which we will always treasure.
“James was a keen cricketer and a gifted player, and the league’s young player of the year in 2016, a massive achievement for someone his age and something he was incredibly proud of.
“We will miss James with all our hearts and are utterly devastated. We are very grateful to all the volunteers who helped with the search, and for all the messages of support, but we ask now to be left in privacy.”
An RWAS spokesman said the organisation took its planning responsibilities ‘very seriously’ and will reconfigure safety procedures in light of the incident.
He said: “Following this sad loss, we will be co-ordinating a review involving Wales YFC, Builth Wells Town Council, Powys County Council, Dyfed-Powys Police and all other emergency services and stakeholders to establish any lessons which can be learned and improved for future events.”
Update: In the search for missing young farmer, James Corfield, who went missing on Monday night (July 24) at The Royal Welsh Show, Dyfed-Powys police have confirmed a body was found on Sunday afternoon (July 30) in Builth Wells.
The family have been made aware of the development however the body has not been formally identified at this time.
A statement on behalf of the Wales Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs said they are "saddened to learn of the news that a body has been found during the search for James Corfield’ and offer support to this family at this difficult time."
Officers have told how they are “overwhelmed” by the support of the community, with more than 150 people of all ages volunteering time to help find the 19-year-old.
The Royal Welsh Show is one of the biggest social occasions in the Young Farmers’ Club calendar with more than 15,000 party-goers attending the village.
Support has been shown from across the whole of the industry and many have expressed their great sadness at the news.
We can confirm with great sadness that a body has been recovered from a deep pool on the River Wye today during a search for James Corfield pic.twitter.com/UkdNPgeuL9— Brecon MRT (@BreconMRT)
Thoughts and prayers are with James Corfield’s family and friends at this time. pic.twitter.com/sZdqP3qsdt— Radnor YFC (@RadnorYFC)