Anthony Foley's family speak of 'bottomless anguish'

RugbyBy Sunday World
Tributes to Anthony Foley at Thomond Park last night
Tributes to Anthony Foley at Thomond Park last night

The family of Anthony Foley has said his death has plunged them into incomprehensible darkness.

As hundreds of fans and friends paid their respects at the home of Munster Rugby in Limerick, the Foleys said they deeply appreciated the huge outpouring of support and sympathy.

The 42-year-old head coach was found dead in the province's team hotel in Paris on Sunday, hours before the team were due to take to the pitch in the European Champions Cup.

"With Anthony's passing, we have ultimately lost an amazing, adoring and loving father and husband; an equally caring, loyal and devoted son and brother; a central and go-to figure for the wider Foley and Hogan families," the family said.

"Our anguish at the sudden loss of Anthony is bottomless.

"We have been plunged deep into an incomprehensible darkness and sense of loss that we must work our way through over the coming days, weeks, months and years."

The family revealed the depth of their griefs as queues formed across Munster and further afield for people to sign books of condolences.
Irish flags were lowered to half-mast and a minute's silence was observed in Limerick courthouse.

From midday, people began to pay respects across Limerick, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Tipperary and Waterford and at Limerick University and Shannon Rugby Club, and the Irish rugby headquarters.

The Foleys said they knew that the No 8's death brought the rugby worlds of Shannon RFC, Munster, Ireland and further afield crashing down.

"You have lost a former player, coach, friend and all-round inspiration - your and our hero both. We mourn his loss together," the family said.

"We again wish to thank everyone for their support; it will help carry us through these darkest days."