Community in mourning after death of popular Cynffig pupil Joseph Gardiner – as Memorial Fund Tops £10k

The close-knit communities of Cornelly and Pyle have joined ranks to voice their sadness over the sudden passing of local lad Joseph Gardiner last week.

Joseph was admitted to hospital with a viral infection and died suddenly last Monday after going into cardiac arrest. Joseph was a popular member of the local community and Under 16’s Captain of Pyle Rugby Club, where a mass of touching tributes have been laid in his honour.

Picture of Joseph shared by his Dad, John
A spokesman for Pyle Rugby Club. where tributes have been pouring in, said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joseph’s family at this very difficult time.
“Joseph was a polite, charming and well mannered young man who was a great young rugby player in the making… and an absolute credit to his family who loved him very much. He was very highly thought of by everyone here at the club with his teammates and coaches.
“The club’s officials and coaches are here for any support that we can offer at this difficult time.. Joe will always be remembered. Blue & white forever. RIP Joe.”

Cornelly Community Councillor and friend of the family Jane Granville said:

“Our little village is in mourning over the loss an amazing young man.  Joseph is part of probably one of the largest families in this village, so many people are suffering this huge loss.

“This will have a profound effect on so many. Every parent will hug their children closer, no matter what age, the suddenness of Joseph”s loss will reiterate the fact life is so short – such a talented young man with a lifetime in front of him. There are so many of us today that want to send our love to his parents, Helen, John and every single member of their family, we know what effect this has had on us, let alone what they as a family are all going through.

“As much as we all want to engulf them with our support, they need time to come to terms with things themselves, Helen and John, please know our hearts are breaking with you and for you, there is not one person in this community that won’t be touched by what’s happened. I thank god you have such an amazing family around you who will pick you up and wrap their arms around you.  We all send our love, and all our sorrow – there will never be enough words to express how sad we are at the loss of your amazing son.”


Headteacher Mrs Hannah Castle said: “The sudden death of Year 10 pupil Joseph Gardiner has arrived as a tragic shock to all of us at Cynffig Comprehensive School. His loss has had a devastating effect upon us, but I am confident that together, we will support one another through this difficult time, and will celebrate all that Joe achieved during his life.

“As a hardworking and committed young man, Joe was a popular, respected member of our school community who always warmly acknowledged others, and was courteous and polite. He had a passion for rugby, and demonstrated the key characteristics of leadership and teamwork. Joe will always be remembered with great fondness by his fellow pupils and staff alike.

“Joe will be deeply missed by us all at Cynffig Comprehensive, and our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies are with his family and friends.”


Bridgend County Borough Council Leader, Cllr Huw David added: “We are all deeply saddened by Joseph’s sudden passing, and wish to express our sympathies to his family and friends. Bridgend County Borough Council is working closely with Cynffig Comprehensive to ensure that pupils and staff can access appropriate help and support at this tough time.

“The school has opened a book of condolence, and trained counsellors will join staff at the school from 9.30am on Thursday 24 August to support any pupil who wants to talk about Joe’s passing or express their feelings.”


A fund-raising appeal for Joseph’s family has topped £10k.  You can donate here:

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