News

Northern Ireland fan who died in France named locally

NewsBy Sunday World
Darren Rodgers
Darren Rodgers
A tribute is left near the scene of the accident
A tribute is left near the scene of the accident
Northern Ireland fans in the Stade de Nice yesterday
Northern Ireland fans in the Stade de Nice yesterday

A Northern Ireland football fan who died after a fall in France was Darren Rodgers from Ballymena, sources said.

The victim, 25, toppled eight metres (26ft) over a barrier from a promenade onto a hard pebble beach in the south coast city of Nice at around 2am this morning, police said.

It is understood the man was on his own at the time.

He was in France for the opening fixture of Northern Ireland's European Championship campaign against Poland.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokesman said: "We are aware that a man from Northern Ireland aged in his 20s has died in Nice, France, this morning."

Nice's Promenade des Anglais is famed as a landmark of the city and runs for some four miles. Below it lies a rocky beach.

It is a popular walking and cycling route and was thronged with supporters returned from the match on the city outskirts on Sunday night.

Many of the fans had congregated around the area of the Place Massena in the old part of the town.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials are contacting the man's family.

Captain of Northern Ireland Steven Davis shared his condolences on Twitter:

Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley did likewise:

Patrick Nelson, chief executive at the Irish Football Association, said: "On behalf of the board, management, players and staff of the Irish Football Association, I would like to express my deep sadness at the tragic death of a Northern Ireland supporter in Nice in the early hours of this morning.

"The thoughts of everyone at the Association are with his family and friends at this time."