5:14pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013
A young Shoreham soldier killed in Afghanistan has been returned to the UK.
Brighton and Hove Albion fan Lance Corporal James Brynin of the Intelligence Corps, who was shot on patrol in Afghanistan last week, was repatriated this afternoon.
His tearful family laid flowers on the hearse carrying his coffin through RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.
Sister Yasmin fought back tears as she waited for the procession. His mother Sharon carefully placed flowers on top of the hearse while his father Efrem held his dog Luke, clutching a single red rose.
The soldier's girlfriend Oliva Jackson was also present to pay her tributes.
The 22-year-old Albion fan from Shoreham, who worked as an intelligence analyst, had already been selected for promotion but was shot dead last Tuesday when his patrol was attacked in the area of Kakaran, north east of Lashkar Gah.
Despite receiving immediate medical attention, L Cpl Brynin, known as Jay, died from his injuries at the scene.
To mark his passing, Brighton and Hove Albion have invited his family to the Seagulls' home game against Blackburn on November 9.
The family have been asked to lay a wreath and a minute's silence will also be held in memory of fallen servicemen.
In a tribute issued through the MoD, his family said: '”Heart of a lion, we will always stand strong for you. We will never forget. Rest in peace - dad Efrem, mum Sharon, sister Yasmin and girlfriend Olivia.'”
Just days before his death, L Cpl Brynin's parents told Brighton and Hove Albion how their son received the flag signed by all the players.
The soldier's father Efrem told the club the heartbreaking news on Twitter.
He thanked the Albion for sending the flag but added: “Unfortunately James was killed only 24 hours later.”
Albion have since sent ten of L Cpl Brynin's best friends replica football shirts to wear at his funeral, all bearing the fallen soldier's surname on the back.
His death took the number of UK service members who have lost their lives since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001 to 445.
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