A British snowboarder has tragically died in a accident in France while training for the British Championships.

Michael Handley, 20, suffered a severe head injury after becoming airborne part way through a run before tumbling 200 metres downhill.

He was treated for his injuries in the nearby Grenoble University Hospital on the same ward as Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher, who was injured in a skiing accident last year.

After two days of intensive care, he passed away with his family by his side.

Devastated parents Tony and Tracey said their son was popular, lively and 'the life and soul of the party'.

Tony added: 'He was an inspiration to me. He was my son and he made me want to do more with my life.He was so young but he'd achieved so much. He'd travelled all over and made friends all around the world. He really lived life to the full.'

Michael had been working winter seasons at Mont-de-Lan for the past two years and had been snowboarding down one of the mountains on the alpine resort, Les Deux Alpes - on a route that he had taken many times before.

Michael, from Blackburn, was born on August 6, 1993, and had two older brothers, Tom and Sam, and a twin brother, Matthew.