Tragic Northern Ireland fan who fell to his death to be laid to rest

Northern Ireland fan Darren Rodgers (24) will be laid to rest today in Ballymena. He died on Monday, June 13 after falling from a promenade in Nice. He had been over in France supporting Northern Ireland at Euro 2016. Picture by Justin Kernoghan
Gareth McKeown

THE funeral will take place today of a 24-year-old Northern Ireland fan who fell to his death in Nice.

Darren Rodgers, from Ballymena, died in the early hours of Monday, June 13. He was alone in Nice when he toppled 26ft over a barrier from a promenade.

The funeral service, being conducted by Rev Mark McConnell, will take place today at St Patrick's Church, Ballymena at 12 noon, just hours before Northern Ireland play their game in the final 16 against Wales in Paris.

Speaking ahead of the funeral Darren's father Paul, thanked all those for their support following his son's tragic death.

"On behalf of myself, my wife, and the entire Rodgers family we would like to convey our sincere and heartfelt thanks to every single person who has sent us cards, called with us, and supported ourselves and Darren all over Ireland, Europe and also internationally," he said

"The sheer amount of love, goodwill and outpouring of grief has left us with memories that will live with us the rest of our lives. To all the supporters from every country who have left mementos, shirts, scarves, flags and messages of love and support at the site of Darren’s accident, we can never express how much all of this means to us, " he added.

Meanwhile the funeral of Northern Ireland fan Robert 'Archie' Rainey (64) who died from a suspected heart attack during the match with Ukraine in Lyon on June 16 will be held on Tuesday. A short service will be held at his Belfast home before a celebration of his life at Roselawn Crematorium.

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