by David Mackie
A year to the day from the MH17 disaster, tributes are being paid to a University of Leeds student who died in the crash.
Richard Mayne, from Leicester, was studying maths and finance at the university when flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine.
Blame for the crash has since been placed on seperatist rebels in the country, who reportedly shot it down.
The 20-year-old had been on board the flight to Kuala Lumpur on his way to Perth, Australia for a work placement.
Richard was very active with charity work, and was a member of the Leeds Raising and Giving (RAG) team.
Leeds Student Union Activities Officer Piers Cottee-Lee, who was a friend and flatmate of Richard, said: “Richard has been missed sorely by the whole Leeds community as he seemed to be involved in more societies and have more friends than time would allow. The response of the many who knew him and those who now know of his story has been immense.
“His legacy lives on through the countless fundraising events that have occurred since his passing. From fashion shows, to golf tournaments and even naked calendars. The breadth of fundraisers truly reflect the multi-talented nature of the loyal friend that he was.”
Since Richard’s death, his family have established the Richard Mayne Foundation in his memory, to support children in Leicester and Leicestershire with Type 1 diabetes. Richard had himself been diagnosed with this condition aged eight.
Mr Cottee-Lee said: “He lives on in the hearts of all that have worked so hard to ensure that the Richard Mayne Foundation can help those with Type 1 diabetes in the way that he helped all those who were touched by his infectious light.”
Tributes are being paid in Leeds, but also in Richard’s family home of Leicester. Richard’s parents, Simon and Elizabeth, unveiled a portrait of their son in Leicester Cathedral. The portrait, painted by Richard’s school friend Madelina Kay, will be on display in the Cathedral until Sunday.
It shows the young man smiling and holding a glass of wine aloft.
His mother Elizabeth Mayne said in a statement to the BBC: “It captures the essence of him. He was cheeky, had a great joy of life and he was always living for the day. He was quite determined and ambitious.
“I think he would have done great things.”