A former England test cricketer has been left heartbroken after his 21-year-old daughter died aged 21 after a suspected case of sepsis.
Ex-Glamorgan captain Steve James, 52, now works as a sports journalist and was away covering a Six Nations rugby match in Ireland when his daughter Bethan was taken ill.
It is understood his return journey was delayed by bad weather and she died before he got home.
Mr James and his wife Jane tweeted an emotional tribute to their ‘beautiful’ daughter: ‘We have the most indescribably devastating news that our beautiful daughter Bethan suddenly passed away on Saturday evening.
‘Our hearts are broken. She was the most wonderfully caring and kind daughter and sister to Rhys.’
Bethan, who lived in Cardiff and was studying at university, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease had been unwell but her family had no idea she had contracted the fatal condition.
Her father, a sports journalist with the Times, was in Dublin covering the Ireland V Wales rugby international, when he had a call to say she was seriously ill.
Friends said Mr James who played for two test matches for England in 1998, was ‘devastated’ at the loss of his daughter who he doted on.
Sports stars in Wales including Rugby World Cup final referee Nigel Owens passed on their sympathy through social media.
Former rugby international stars Brian Moore and Jonathan Davies, both now TV pundits, also offered their condolences on Twitter.
It is the second tragedy to hit a child of a Glamorgan star cricketer.
His friend and former team mate Matthew Maynard, also an England batsman, lost his son Tom in a train accident in Wimbledon in 2013.
Bethan had battled illness when she was just three after being diagnosed with a potential heart problem and undergoing a bowel operation.
She was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease last year and was planning to campaign on behalf of others who suffer from the painful stomach condition.
At Christmas she posted a 40-minute video blog while at home with her parents in Cardiff.
Before going on the family’s annual New Year trip to Centre Parc she went onto Facebook to say: ‘I can’t tell you how excited I am for 2020!!!
‘I have a feeling it’s going to be the craziest year of my life and hopefully my best too!!
‘Can’t wait to get started, going to be starting the year off in an extremely good place with the best people around me.’
Mr James and his physiotherapist wife Jane are meeting doctors who tried to save their daughter at the weekend.