LLANGYNHAFAL FC manager Martin Dyer has paid an emotional tribute to Joel Darlington.

The striker, who played football locally for Bala Town, Denbigh Town, Ruthin Town Youth and Llangynhafal, died earlier this week at the age of just 20.

Mr Dyer gave Joel his first chance in senior football in the Summer League and he said today: "(It's) absolutely devastating news for his family and everyone who knew him."

He described Joel as "a lovely lad who was an absolute credit to his parents".

"His humour and the air of confidence he gave the rest of the team when he played will be sorely missed in the Llangynhafal changing room and beyond," he added.

"A huge talent on the field and a lovely lad off it, everyone will have their favourite Joel memory and one of his first Summer League goals was a cheeky back heel in Caerwys that left the keeper and three defenders all on their backsides.

"There was also the other side to Joel and after a rare visit to his own penalty area, where he managed to somehow get behind the keeper to prevent a goal, he took the ball all the way up the field and after rounding the keeper with the goal at his mercy, he laid it off for a team-mate to score.

"That was Joel.

"My thoughts go out to his family and friends.

"He will be sorely missed."