N Ireland team seek minute’s silence for late soccer fan

Ballymena man Darren Rodgers fell to his death in Nice, France during Euro 2016

Tributes to late  Northern Ireland fan Darren Rodgers, who died during the Euro 2016 football tournament in Nice on June 13th, 2016. Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

Tributes to late Northern Ireland fan Darren Rodgers, who died during the Euro 2016 football tournament in Nice on June 13th, 2016. Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

 

The Northern Ireland team are seeking a minute’s silence for late football fan Darren Rodgers ahead of Thursday’s Euro 2016 game against Ukraine.

Players also want to wear black armbands in memory of the Ballymena man, who fell to his death from a promenade in Nice, France, in the early hours of Monday.

Supporters are planning to stage a minute’s applause in the 24th minute of the Lyon fixture. The popular amateur footballer was aged 24.

Patrick Nelson, Irish Football Association (IFA) chief executive, said: “The young lad came out to watch some games of football, part of a huge movement from Northern Ireland, a very joyous movement, and it’s a tragedy for his family and his friends.”

He supported fans’ efforts to have a minute’s applause.

“We’ll ask Uefa whether it’s appropriate to have a minute’s silence before the game and/or to wear black armbands.”

Manager Michael O’Neill said the players were very down.

“My message to the supporters is make sure you look after each other while you are out here. Please enjoy yourselves and have a great time but please be careful. Take care of each other.

“I can only imagine what his family are going through - going out here with your friends, to be part of the tournament, and then for the parents to find out the nature of the tragedy, I’m sure is terrible.

“In truth, I can’t imagine what that feeling will be like.”

Press Association