Northern Ireland players pay tribute after Nice tragedy

Date published: Monday 13th June 2016 12:18

Northern Ireland fans: One fan has died in Nice

Northern Ireland players have paid tribute to a fan who died in Nice after falling from a promenade.

The victim, aged in his 20s, toppled eight metres (26ft) over a barrier and onto a hard pebble beach at around 2am this morning, police said. It is understood the man was on his own at the time.

Thousands of supporters had descended on the city to watch Sunday’s fixture 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 returning from the match on Sunday night.

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

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

Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley tweeted: “You think things are bad then learn one of your own loses his life last night. Thoughts with family and friends.”

Midfielder Steven Davis tweeted: “So sad to wake up to the tragic news that a Northern Ireland fan has died in Nice, thoughts with his family and friends.”

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.”

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