TRIBUTES have been paid to a teenager who died in a diving accident on a family holiday in Malaysia.

James Sprake, originally from Chester, was killed aged just 18 on Monday, July 12 snorkelling off the South East Asian coast.

The tattooed, hip-hop loving model was a keen skateboarder who first lived in Curzon Park with parents Chris and Debbie Sprake and younger brothers Ben and Alex, 16.

James will be repatriated to Manchester Airport on Friday ahead of a funeral in Chester next week.

Dad Chris said: “We were on our annual family holiday. I was there for two weeks and they were going to stay for a month.

“We were out on a private island snorkelling.

“He was a bit of a celebrity in Korea with his music and skateboarding. He was a member of the Korean national skateboarding team.”

While living in Chester, Chris Sprake is believed to have worked at Douglas Williams TV and electronics shop in Boughton, while Debbie Sprake worked as an air stewardess with Dan Air.

The whole family decamped to the far East about a decade ago, to Shanghai in China and Korea after a brief move from their home on Curzon Close to Meadowside in Ewloe, Deeside, when James attended Ewloe Green School.

James’ grandmother Renee Sprake, once married to president of the Magic Circle and headmaster of Kingsway High School Pat Sprake, was a photographer with the Cheshire Observer and later the Chester Standard who lived in Hoole and then moved to Hawarden.

The granddaughter of Pat’s aunt was Amy Underhill, from Northop Hall, who was killed in a car crash two years ago in Duddon aged just 19.

James was himself showing an interest in photography, drove a motorbike and played rugby as a winger with Seoul Colts. He also starred in an advertising campaign for footwear manufacturer Vans.

Tributes that have poured on to a Facebook group from friends, acquaintances and fellow pupils at the British International School in Shanghai where he had one year left.

Mum Debbie Sprake is an executive director at Life Line in Shanghai.

Dad Chris, who attended Deeside High School and Christleton Primary, is vice president of retail at Adidas in Shanghai.