Tragic death of Ballymena fan

Northern Ireland fans during Sundays Euro 2016
Northern Ireland fans during Sundays Euro 2016

A 25-year-old Northern Ireland fan who died following a fall in Nice has been widely named by media outlets as Darren Rodgers from Ballymena.

It is understood he died after an 8-metre fall from a seafront promenade.

Superintendent Nigel Goddard is in charge of the PSNI operation in France and said the death was a tragic accident.

“The processes are that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will make contact with this man’s family and take it from there. I believe it was an accident - not in any way disorder related, obviously a personal tragedy.”

Mid & East Antrim Councillor, Stewart McDonald, who is in Nice spoke to the Ballymena Times about the wave of shock which had rippled around the huge Northern Ireland fan contingent.

“It really is terribly sad,” said Cllr. McDonald. “I actually had been in Darren’s company yesterday and I have just come back from speaking to his friends outside the hospital. It is devastating news.”

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis led tributes saying his thoughts were with the young man’s family.

In a statement chief executive of the IFA Patrick Nelson expressed their “deep sadness”.

He 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.”