PARENTS of a much-loved Dorchester student tragically killed in a motorcycle crash have paid tribute to their beloved son, as they revealed their comfort in knowing he died happy and doing something he loved.

Will Musk's mother, Julie, today described the 20-year-old's sense of humour, quiet consideration of others, and love of travel and adventure activities.

There has been an outpouring of grief from relatives and friends of Chichester University student Will since his death on August 5, after his motorcycle was in collision with a car.

Will's parents, Julie and Tim, said they had been overwhelmed by the volume of heartfelt messages received, and how much they enjoyed seeing all the photos and videos on social media of their son enjoying life with his friends. Julie said: "We are really appreciative of all the positive messages. The images are very personal and so touching. We didn't realise Will knew so many people and they all have their little stories to tell, which is lovely.”

Will was a baby when his family moved to Dorchester from Cambridgeshire, before he attended Chipmunks Day Nursery and Charminster Primary. Then, after two years living in America, which he loved, Will returned to Damers First School, then on to Thomas Hardye School for GCSEs, and finally Clayesmore where he boarded, sitting A Levels in Economics, Geography and French.

"He never excelled at school but he was dedicated and always got on with things, and we feel immensely proud of him" said Julie, who owns Frampton-based publishing house Roving Press with husband Tim. "He took everything in his stride and never complained. He had a great sense of humour as well. That’s really something to hold onto."

After completing his exams, Will took a gap year, during which he worked as a bartender at the Seaside Boarding House near Bridport. He loved travel, and with his best friend from Dorchester spent a month in Thailand and Cambodia in the summer of 2019. After Christmas this year he enjoyed a trip to Eastern Europe and Ukraine, including Chernobyl.

He moved to Chichester in 2019 to begin his university degree in Outdoor Adventure Education. Julie said: "The course was right up his street. He had to do lots of hands-on practical sports stuff, with leadership and management. He loved sport, fitness and being outdoors, so he was looking forward to combining all that."

Will got an Aprilia moped as soon as he was 16 years old, a Yamaha 125cc at age 17, then a Kawasaki Ninja 400 at 19. Tim, 55, and Julie, 51, said: "He fell in love with motorbiking and we were happy for him to do it, as we both had bikes when we were younger. He used to go out just for the sheer enjoyment of riding. It is slightly comforting knowing that he was doing what he loved at the end."

Whilst at university, Will played for the Spitfires American Football Team. Head Coach, James Harris, has set up a fundraising page for a memorial to celebrate Will's life. They also ‘retired’ his No 40 jersey out of respect to the popular young player, and plan to present it to the family.

Tim and Julie would like other young people to be recognised with an annual tribute. "At the end of the American Football season each year, we would like the coach to pick someone who has been really dedicated or a great team player, and honour them, as a tribute to Will," they said. "We’re also talking to Clayesmore School to set up an award that recognises kindness in some way, as Will was thoughtful of others so this sort of memorial seems fitting."

Will's family and friends will say goodbye to him tomorrow in the chapel of rest. He will not have a funeral service, but instead his parents and sister, Rosie, 18, will hold some small, local gatherings with extended family and friends, with separate gatherings at Chichester and Clayesmore.

Paying tribute to her brother, Rosie wrote on Facebook: "We are so proud of him and always will be for what he's achieved in the short space of 20 years. "We'll keep him in our hearts. Forever young, healthy and happy."

No flowers please, but donations welcome at Will's GoFundMe page: