TRIBUTES have been paid to a highly-respected Hampshire teenager who has died during a backpacking trip in the Far East.

The body of talented sportsman Harry Corbett, 19, of Hordle, is understood to have been found in a Vietnamese hostel where he was staying with friends.

Described as a “lovely lad from a lovely family”, Harry played for New Milton Rugby Club for more than a decade.

He was also former head boy at Walhampton School, near Lymington.

Harry left the UK in December last year and travelled to New Zealand. He then spent three weeks in Australia before visiting Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

His mother Barbara said she had received hundreds of messages of sympathy and condolence since his death. She is reported to have said: “We’ve had lots of cards from people, some of whom we have never met.

“All of them have said lovely things – it’s been absolutely overwhelming.”

His father David recalled one of his favourite memories of his son.

Describing one of the rugby matches in which Harry played he said: “He was running with the ball and his mate, who had never scored a try, ran up alongside him.

“Rather than score one himself Harry passed the ball to his mate. That’s the sort of person he was.”

Titus Mills, head teacher at Walhampton School, added: “Staff, parents and pupils are deeply saddened by the death of much-loved ex-pupil Harry Corbett. During his time here Harry’s impressive character was reflected in his extraordinary passion and talent for rugby, alongside his natural leadership skills as head boy."

After leaving Walhampton aged 13, Harry went to King’s School, Bruton, Somerset, where he was also head boy and excelled on the rugby field.

Rohan Thomas, president of New Milton Rugby Club, said: “Harry was a very pleasant fellow and a good back row forward. His death is a tragic loss to us.”

An inquest was opened at Winchester Coroner’s Court, which heard the teenager had been found hanged. A full hearing will take place on October 31.