Republic's football fans' tribute to supporter Darren Rodgers

Flowers and a shirt left by Darren's Braid United team mates lay close to the scene where Darren Rodgers, from Ballymena, died after a fall in Nice in France. Picture by Michael McHugh, Press Association 
John Monaghan

FOOTBALL fans from across Ireland have left shirts, scarves and tributes to Northern Ireland fan Darren Rodgers in Nice at the spot where he lost his life.

Mr Rodgers (24), from Ballymena in Co Antrim, was alone when he toppled 26ft over a barrier from a promenade at around 2am on Monday morning.

Fans have left tributes at the scene, while Republic supporters have been praised for having a minute's applause in memory of the Ballymena man.

In the 24th minute of the game between the Republic and Sweden in Paris on Monday night, Irish fans stood up, clapped and sang "Stand Up for the Ulstermen."

Fans watching the game at the fanzone at Titanic Belfast also held a banner stating "RIP Darren."

A tweet on the Northern Ireland team's Twitter account said: "Thanks to the fans of @FAIreland who sang 'stand up for the Ulstermen' tonight in memory of Darren Rodgers #footballfamily."

Respects were also paid to Mr Rodgers in a series of tributes in the Stormont Assembly chamber, while DUP North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds tweeted that he intended to speak about the Ballymena man in the House of Commons.

The Irish Football Association (IFA) is yet to confirm what form the tribute to Mr Rodgers will take before Thursday's game against Ukraine.

The IFA said it would liaise with Mr Rodgers' family before making an announcement, although it has been suggested players may wear black armbands and observe a minute's silence.

Supporters are also planning to stage a minute's applause in the 24th minute of the fixture in Lyon.

Former Liverpool and England striker Robbie Fowler expressed his condolences to the family of the Ballymena man in a tweet.

He wrote: "Deepest sympathies to the family and friends of #Darrenrodgers ,who went to the game and never came home #rip."

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill said news of the tragedy "really does put things in perspective."

He said: "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.

Meanwhile a Northern Ireland supporter missing in France has turned up safe.

Friends of Kane Leslie appealed on Twitter to anyone who had seen him in Nice to contact them.

Mr Leslie had not been seen since Sunday afternoon, and had been heading to a beach.

He is understood to have missed the first Northern Ireland match of the tournament against Poland.

Among those who retweeted the appeal was Calum Best, son of the football legend, George Best, and radio DJ and soccer pundit Colin Murray.

Mr Leslie posted a message to his friends on Facebook from an internet cafe in Nice to say he is safe and well and had been robbed of his wallet and phone.

On Tuesday night, the family of a Co Donegal man feared missing in Paris have expressed concerns for his safety.

Lee McLaughlin (20) has not been seen since Tuesday morning and failed to board his flight to London on Tuesday night where he was due to visit his sister.

Mr McLaughlin, from Gleneely, was attending the Euro 2016 tournament with his father and nephew

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