A young rugby player died as a result of a severe head injury after being hit by a car while walking along a road. An inquest into his death has been opened and adjourned.

Ceirion Galliers, from Abercanaid in Merthyr Tydfil, died at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff on Monday, July 24, as a result of injuries sustained in a crash on Saturday, July 22, on the A4060 northbound in Merthyr between Pentrebach and Mountain Hare at 10.40pm.

The "rugby-mad" teenager and Merthyr RFC player was a pedestrian involved in a collision with a Fiat 500 driven by a 19-year-old woman from Merthyr Vale. He died 11 days after his 18th birthday.

The opening of an inquest at Pontypridd Coroners' Court on Friday heard Ceirion was walking along the A4060 when he was hit by the car. He was taken to hospital and had a CT scan which showed he had suffered head injuries. Ceirion was admitted to the intensive care unit but died as a result of his injuries at 4.08pm on July 24.

The hearing heard a post-mortem examination has not been carried out, with a hospital consultant providing the cause of Ceirion's death as "severe traumatic brain injury". Assistant coroner for south Wales Sarah-Jane Richards opened and adjourned the inquest into Ceirion's death, to be resumed at a later date, for further investigations to be carried out. She expressed her condolences to Ceirion's family.

Tributes have been paid to Ceirion Galliers who has died aged 18
Tributes have been paid to Ceirion Galliers who has died aged 18

Following his death Ceirion's family released a beautiful tribute to him in which they revealed their pride and comfort in the fact Cei, as he was affectionately known, became an organ donor in his death with his heart being donated to help "an unknown patient hopefully to fulfil a healthy life".

His family said: "He fulfilled his wish of becoming an organ donor following his untimely passing. The family have already heard from the donor team at the Heath hospital that Cei's heart will go on beating."

The family's full tribute said: "Ceirion Galliers comes from a rugby-mad family. It's important to state this because years ago, in Australia, there was a player called John Eales who was outstanding. John's nickname was 'Nobody' – because Nobody's Perfect. He was that good.

“Cei, as he was affectionately known by all who knew him, should have been called Nobody. Not for his rugby prowess but for almost every other thing he did in his life outside of the field of rugby. Cei spent the vast majority of his 18 years with us all looking after, caring for, and helping others. Who was this remarkable young man?

“As you can imagine his family are devastated at losing him to such an awful road traffic accident just 11 days after his 18th birthday. His mother and father, brother and sister, girlfriend, grandparents, cousins, aunties and uncles and the many, many extended family and friends he knew and who loved him dearly are inconsolable. It's no exaggeration to say a whole town is in mourning.

“Cei was the academic high-flyer of the Galliers family. After becoming head boy at Afon Taf High School he progressed to UWC Atlantic College, finishing his two years there just recently, before securing a full-time career with the CPS just six weeks ago. All of his fellow pupils at school and college and all of the teachers that crossed his path all agree on one thing: he was the consummate pupil. 'He immersed himself into every aspect of both school and college life and was a role model for others. He was the most polite, respectful, kind, and hardworking young man' – that's how his school put it when they had to write a tribute. They are spot on.

Ceirion Galliers
Ceirion Galliers

“Throughout the last 10 years of his life Cei has been a regular fixture at Merthyr RFC. Starting at under-eights he went right through the mini and junior section age groups, only just last season joining the youth setup in his favoured scrum-half position. It is hard to put into words the number of people who have crossed paths with Cei in that time – each and every one of them having nothing but good things to say about him. You genuinely cannot find anyone with a negative comment about Cei.

“This was evident at the gathering for Cei at Merthyr RFC when around 200 people gave a minute's applause in his honour in the pouring rain. The club has even, in a move we believe is unprecedented, retired Cei's number nine jersey for the forthcoming season.

“But Cei wasn't just a player. He always wanted to do more for others so he passed the referees course and began refereeing mini and junior games locally too. Not just at Merthyr RFC but at any club that found themselves needing a ref – or an assistant ref – even at short notice. He did coaching with youngsters and was an integral part of a local organisation, IC Sports, that provides fun sports environments for young children. In their words: 'Cei was a truly inspirational young man. Kind, caring, enthusiastic, and would do anything for anyone. He always put everyone else first. If they were happy he was happy'.

"I could go on and on but the message would be the same. Our family, our town, our rugby family, and the wider rugby family has lost an absolute angel. We are confident that Cei is having cwtches with his beloved nannie Pat who we lost three years ago. They were inseparable and now will be together looking down on us all and helping us try to make sense of this senseless situation.

“We ask that all of Cei's family, and friends in particular, look after each other in the days, months, and years ahead and they stay strong and make the best of the rest of their own lives. Cei would absolutely want that as he always wanted the best for them.

“In death, as in life, Cei is no different. He fulfilled his wish of becoming an organ donor following his untimely passing. The family have already heard from the donor team at the Heath hospital that Cei's heart will go on beating as he helps an unknown patient hopefully to fulfil a healthy life. The family takes an enormous amount of pride and comfort from that and know he will continue to help other sick patients as they too receive a special gift from a very special person.

“The family would like to thank everyone who has sent messages of condolence, texts, phone calls. and visited to pay their respects and support the family at this truly awful time. Finally a massive thank you to all the medical personnel who looked after Cei from the time of the accident right up to the final goodbye. There are far too many to thank individually but the paramedics and doctor who attended the scene, the A&E staff at the Heath, the ITU staff at the Heath, and every other member of staff who showed so much care and affection towards Cei and the family while we've been in our darkest place.

“Nobody's perfect. But Ceirion Galliers came very close.”