Developing

Killed British Soldier 'Lived Life To The Full'

An Army officer killed by a bomb in Afghanistan did more in his three decades of life than most manage in a whole lifetime, his family have said.

Captain Stephen Healey, 29, of 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh (The Royal Welch Fusiliers), was killed on Saturday when his patrol vehicle hit the improvised explosive device in the north of the Nahr-e Saraj District in Helmand province.

He was flown to the military hospital at Camp Bastion where he was pronounced dead.

His father John, mother Kerry, brother Simon and girlfriend Thea paid tribute to Cpt Healey, a former semi-professional footballer from Cardiff.

They said in a statement: "Stephen was all you could wish for in a son, brother, uncle and friend.

"He will be sadly missed by us all. He managed to do more in his 30 years than most people do in a lifetime."

Cpt Healey is the 415th member of UK forces to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

The soldier's girlfriend paid her own tribute, saying: "Stephen will always be in my heart.

"I will miss him so much, he was my love, my life and my everything.

"Now he rests in peace, he was living the life he wanted to do with his men."

Cpt Healey became a semi-professional footballer after leaving school and played for clubs in south Wales and had an apprenticeship with Swansea City.

He continued to play while completing a degree in Sports Science at Swansea University.

He joined the Army in 2007 and was commissioned into the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh (The Royal Welch Fusiliers) in 2008.

In 2009 he was awarded a Mention in Dispatches for his actions on Operation Herrick 11 as the Officer Commanding 4 Platoon, B Company.

A highly promising officer, in 2011 he was selected to command the reconnaissance platoon and led its Operation Herrick 16 deployment.

He deployed to Afghanistan again on March 9 this year, where he took over responsibility at Checkpoint Langar in northern Nahr-e Saraj as part of Combined Force Burma.