Northern Ireland

Darren Rodgers: Republic of Ireland fans' tribute to Northern Ireland fan

Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland jerseys and flags mark the stop where Darren Rodgers lost his life
Image caption Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland jerseys and flags mark the spot where Darren Rodgers lost his life

Republic of Ireland fans have paid tribute to Northern Ireland fan Darren Rodgers.

The 24-year-old Ballymena man died in a fall in Nice, France, in the early hours of Monday morning.

He had been in the city to see Northern Ireland play Poland in the Euro 2016 tournament.

A makeshift memorial marks the spot on the promenade from which the former Cambridge House Grammar School pupil fell.

Both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland jerseys and flags, as well as floral tributes, have been left by fans paying their respects.

Irish fans also clapped and sang in tribute to Mr Rodgers in the 24th minute of the Republic's game against Sweden on Monday night. The timing was chosen due to his age.

Fans watching the game in Belfast's designated fanzone joined in the gesture with a minute long round of applause.

Boxer Carl Frampton has joined those welcoming the gesture, tweeting that it was "amazing".

Darren Rodgers played football himself with junior side Braid United, from Broughshane in County Antrim.

In a tribute on their Facebook page a spokesperson has written: "A man who on and off the pitch would have done anything for you, always great craic and giving his all every game.

"We are not just losing a player, today we lose a friend and one of the best people I've ever known."

Northern Ireland players Jonny Evans and Michael McGovern paid tribute to Darren Rodgers at Northern Ireland's press conference on Tuesday.

It followed tributes from Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill and a number of other players on Monday.

Former England striker Robbie Fowler has also paid his respects on Twitter.

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