EURO 2016: Northern Ireland team seek minute’s silence for fan killed in promenade fall

Tributes are placed by Northern Ireland fans in memory of Darren Rodgers, who died in Nice.
Tributes are placed by Northern Ireland fans in memory of Darren Rodgers, who died in Nice.

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

Players also want to wear black armbands in memory of the 24-year-old Ballymena man who fell to his death from a promenade in Nice 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.”

Meanwhile, Republic of Ireland fans paid their own tribute during Monday’s game against Sweden.

On the 24th minute they stood and sang ‘Stand Up For The Ulsterman.’

The same gesture took place at the Belfast fanzone which took place at the Titanic Quarter.