PRINCE Harry led tributes last night to two British soldiers killed by roadside blasts in Afghanistan – including Huddersfield’s first victim.
Lance Corporal Graham Shaw, 27, of Golcar, was killed on Monday – the day after celebrating his birthday.
He died along with his pal Corporal Liam Riley in roadside bomb attacks in Helmand province.
Lance Cpl Shaw had joined the Army in the footsteps of his dad, Russ.
His devastated family said last night: “We are all very proud of our hero.
Lance Corporal Shaw, of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington’s), serving as part of the 1 Coldstream Guards Battle Group, died alongside Cpl Riley, 21, in two explosions near Malgir, Afghanistan, on Monday morning.
Harry described Cpl Riley as a “legend” as he told how he had served with him at a military training unit in Canada in 2007.
The Prince, who spent 10 weeks in Afghanistan before being flown home in 2008, said: “I remember Liam Riley so well from the time we spent serving together at the British Army Training Unit at Suffield in Canada.
“He was a legend. A really special man who got us all going and heading in the right direction. It was a privilege to have worked alongside him.
“It is incredibly sad also to hear that Liam died alongside his friend, Lance Corporal Graham Shaw.
“My heart goes out to their loved ones, and to their many, many friends in their regiment and the wider Army.”
Cpl Riley, from Sheffield, and L/Cpl Shaw, from Huddersfield, were on foot patrol when they were killed.
L/Cpl Shaw’s family said: “Russ and Karen Shaw, and all the members of Graham’s family, are deeply saddened by the loss of a beloved member of the family who has been taken away from us in the prime of life.
“Graham enjoyed life to the full, running everywhere.
“He ran to visit relatives in Calderdale and often ran on the moors near his home. He was very active and took part in many different sports from sky diving last summer to skiing with the Army in Canada and even surfing on the South coast. He was up for anything.
“He was proud to be a member of the British Army like his father before him. He knew the danger that he was to face whilst serving in Afghanistan.
“He lost his life doing the job he liked and enjoyed.
“We are all very proud of our hero. We ask that the family be left to grieve in peace.”
Lance Cpl Shaw’s parents have been abroad but were heading home last night.
Relatives of Cpl Riley said: “Liam was a wonderful son who always wanted to join the Army from being very young.
“When he was old enough to join he took to Army life like a duck to water. He was very conscientious with his Army work and didn’t want to disappoint anyone. We were very proud of him and what he achieved both in life and in his Army career.
“Liam liked sport and tried many different types – long enough to join or get the kit – but none lasted as long as football.
“This was his love and when he was at home he played for both Beighton Magpies and the Throstles and was a keen Sheffield Wednesday supporter even when he was away in Afghanistan. One of the things he asked when he rang home was how Wednesday were doing.
“He loved and respected his family and friends and was very close to his siblings, Jonathan and Olivia.”