Awful news has come out of Val Thorens that history student and qualified snowboard instructor Matt Smith has passed away while on the annual Oxford-Cambridge Varsity trip in the French Alps.

The 22 year old Oxford student attended St John’s College, and was found unconscious in his chalet room on Sunday morning.

His friends were unable to wake him and ambulance staff were unable to revive Matt, who the Daily Telegraph report: “is said to have suffered a cardiac arrest."

Matt’s father Howard Smith, who was once a student at the same college, told the Telegraph: “We are very shocked but we are so proud of Matt and thankful for the 21 years we had with him.

“We know he was with his friends and in the snow, in the mountains doing what he loved when he died, so that is a comfort to us now.

“Of course it is such a big shock. We are going to France to be with his friends and sort out arrangements.

“We don’t know anything more at the moment about what caused his death. We are just thinking of Matt and what a wonderful man he was and what a wonderful friend."

A spokesperson for NUCO travel, who were organising the trip, said: “Sadly one our passengers passed away on Sunday 4th December 2016. At this time, to respect the family and friend’s privacy, we will not be commenting further."

Our thoughts are with Matt’s friends and family after this terribly tragic news.