TRIBUTES have poured in after a beloved rugby player from Bicester died.

Charlie Williams, 24, drowned while swimming with friends at popular beauty spot the Behana Gorge swimming hole near Cairns in Far North Queensland, Australia.

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Emergency services were called to the scene on Saturday and paramedics tried to revive him, but he was pronounced dead.

Mr Williams had been living in Australia on a working visa after moving to the country.

He played his senior rugby at Bicester Rugby Union Football Club and as a junior at both Banbury RUFC and Chinnor RUFC.

His friends and former teammates have paid tribute to him following the tragedy.

Bicester RUFC said: "Our rugby club is in mourning at the tragic death of Charlie Williams, who drowned at Behana Gorge near Cairns, Australia on Saturday afternoon.

"Charlie was just 24 and was in Australia with his close friend and Bicester RUFC teammate George Upton, working and enjoying the freedom of their youth like so many of us have done before them.

"His passing leaves a huge sense of loss and sorrow for so many at the club. We are heartbroken. Our love and thoughts are with Charlie's family and we are doing all we can to support them through the days ahead."

The club posted a photo of Mr Williams with two teammates on Facebook.

Other rugby clubs also left their condolences.

Chinnor RUFC Thame tweeted: "Such sad news. Our thoughts are with Charlie’s family and friends at this difficult time. RIP Charlie."

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Banbury RUFC tweeted: "Some really sad news coming out of Bicester RUFC. Our thoughts with all of Charlie's friends and family. Rest in peace Charlie."

People also paid their respects online.

Ellie Thompson said on Facebook: "Oh my gosh that’s such sad news. What a terrible shock for his family, friends and the Club. Thoughts are with everyone who knew, loved and cared for him."

Rhian Hedd said: "Such sad and tragic news. Sending so much love to his family, friends and all who's lives he touched. Charlie you will forever be in our hearts."

Mr Williams' close friend George Upton has set up a JustGiving page to raise money for charity Drake Music in memory of Mr Williams.

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Mr Upton said: "Me and Charlie spoke and dreamed about what we would do if we won the lottery and what charities we would like to donate to. Charlie being Charlie said that he would love to give something back to a charity that specialised in supporting and aiding people with disabilities to gain better access to music.

"Charlie was such an amazingly talented musician and DJ. His younger sister Carys has special needs and he loved and cared for her so very dearly and was the most compassionate and supportive big brother to her."

More than £1,350 has been raised so far towards the £10,000 target. To donate go to

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