Welsh soldier's body returned to the UK

Captain Stephen Healey
Captain Stephen Healey's body has been repatriated to RAF Brize Norton Photo: MOD

The body of a Cardiff soldier has been returned to the UK today.

Captain Stephen Healey from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh, died in Afghanistan on 26 May.

The 29-year-old’s body was repatriated to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed that Captain Healey was killed when a vehicle he was travelling in was caught in a bomb blast in Helmand Province.

At the time of his death his family said the soldier “managed to do more in his 30 years than most people do in a lifetime.”

Captain Healey leaves behind his father John, mother Kerry, brother Simon and girlfriend Thea.

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 inhis 30 years than most people do in a lifetime.

– Captain Healey's Family
Captain Stephen Healey
Captain Healey was a member of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh Credit: MOD

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.

– Captain Healey's girlfriend, Thea

After leaving school, Captain Healey became a semi-professional football player, playing for clubs in South Wales and enjoying an apprenticeship at Swansea City. He completed a degree in Sports Science at Swansea University, before joining the army in 2007. He was commissioned into 1st Battalion, the Royal Welsh, in 2008.

In 2011, he was selected to command the renaissance platoon and led their deployment in Afghanistan in March 2012. Three weeks before that, he organised and took part in a blindfolded walk between Chester and Llandudno to raise money for Blind Veterans UK.

Steve was quality in every sense of the word, a talented and courageous officer and all round good bloke. The men he led were always his first thought, he was admired and respected because of this. It was a privilege to call him not only a brother Royal Welsh officer but also a friend, he will be sadly missed.

– Captain Nick Zorab, Operations Officer, 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh