Ulster captain pays Spence tribute

Tue, Sep 18, 2012, 01:00

Ulster rugby captain Johann Muller today spoke of the team’s devastation over the death of Nevin Spence, who died along with his father Noel and brother Graham in a farming accident at the weekend.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the funerals tomorrow after all three were overcome by slurry fumes at the family’s farm near Hillsborough, Co Down.

Muller said: “He was determined to be the best that he could be, and I have no doubt that he would have gone on to play for Ireland on many occasions. He was the kind of player that inspired others with his attitude in training and sheer will to win in matches.”

The captain said Nevin’s loss was deeply felt by all the players.

“Nevin Spence was a highly skilful and gifted rugby player. He was utterly committed to Ulster and was enormously proud to represent his province. His positive outlook on life brought a smile to people’s faces. He was kind, polite, generous and courageous, and we were blessed to have him in our team," Muller said in a statement.

“The one comfort for us as a squad is that we have each other for support. It has been a difficult time for the players and coaches but I believe that through this tragic loss, we will have a new sense of togetherness.”

Tomorrow’s funeral will take place at Ballynahinch Baptist Church, Co Down, and Ulster fans will pay their own respects at a memorial service at the team’s ground at Ravenhill, Belfast on Sunday afternoon.

Health and safety experts are carrying out an investigation into the tragedy last Saturday afternoon.

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