THE mother of a Hampshire doctor has paid tribute to her son after he fell to his death while skiing.

Robert Bruce who was a senior doctor at a Southampton General Hospital was killed in a freak snowboarding accident in the French Alps.

Mr Bruce died after plunging at least 100ft from a mountainside in the popular resort of Val d'Isere.

The father-of-two is thought to have been pushed over a steep drop by a small avalanche.

Today his mother paid tribute to her son who she described as full of fun, kind with a good sense of humour.

Marion Bruce was reported to have said: "He has a lot of friends and they all laughed a lot together. his patients and colleagues all liked him."

Mr Bruce, who is known as Rob to his friends, lived in Winchester with his wife Catherine, who is also a doctor, and their two daughters, Amelia, three and Isabella, one.

He was a consultant anaesthetist at Southampton General Hospital where he also worked as a doctor in the intensive care department.

Mr Bruce was one of ten managers who ran the ICU where more than 100 nursing staff provide round-the-clock care to some of the most critically-ill patients.

Mr Bruce, 40, is understood to have been snowboarding off-piste, which has a greater risk of accident and avalanches.

He is thought to have been boarding alone when he suffered the 100ft fall from rocks.

Val d'Isere is famous for its long season, high altitude skiing and historic village centre.