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Monday 23 November 2015, 1:07 PM

A popular and decent boy who loved banter, that's how the family of Alexander Harding will remember him.

The 21-year-old tragically died following a collision on the M5 near Stroud at around 5.30am on Thursday November 12.

Alexander leaves behind mum Tricia Harding , dad Andrew Harding and step-sisters Ezme, Gemma and Sarah.

Alexander was born in Caerphilly in South Wales and moved to Gloucestershire at the age of 7. He went to Robinswood Primary and Churchdown School. Since the age of 18 he had been on an engineering apprenticeship with Delphi Diesel Systems in Stonehouse and was in his final year.

"Alexander was loving life, his mum Tricia said. " He had a job that he loved and lots of friends. He was so happy.

Andrew, Alexander's dad added "he was such a good boy - nice, decent, polite. He loved having a laugh with us, he used to call it banter!

After moving to Gloucestershire as a 7-year-old, Alexander quickly developed a passion for Gloucester Rugby and was a season ticket holder in the Shed at Kingsholm. his mum Tricia said "He absolutely loved his rugby, as soon as he moved to Gloucester he was a passionate Gloucester fan. He was also a big Wales supporter, he was delighted when they beat England in the World Cup and loved boasting to his England supporting friends!

Along with Rugby, Alexander was for a long time an active member of the Sea Cadets. "He achieved so much during his time with the Sea Cadets, Mr Harding said. "He rose to the rank of Petty Officer, played bugle and drums in the band and learned to sail.

It was as a result of his voluntary work with the Sea Cadets that he was nominated and won the very first Gloucestershire Young Ambassador award at the 2013 Believe in Gloucester Awards. "We were so proud of him. The other nominees had been put forward by big organisations, but Alexander's nomination was all down to his own efforts. That gave you an idea of the kind of person he was. He could relate to young and old people and that came out through his voluntary work" Mrs Harding said.

Mrs Harding added "Andrew and I would like to thank the emergency services, in particular officers from Gloucestershire Police for their support and honesty. 

Tricia also extended their thanks to Alexander's friends and his employer Delphi Diesel Systems "Dephi have been so supportive to Alexander's family and his close colleagues and we will be forever grateful for their kindness during this incredibly difficult time.

"We would also like to thank our many friends and neighbours for  the incredible support at this difficult time".

Alexander's funeral is taking place at Gloucester Cathedral on Monday November 30th at 1pm. The service is open to all and those attending are asked to wear rugby shirts and bright clothing. Donations will be made to the Anaphylaxis Campaign.

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