Northern Ireland news

Candles lit in memory of broadcaster Stephen Clements on first anniversary of his death

The BBC Radio Ulster presenter Stephen Clements died suddenly in January last year. Picture by Arthur Allison

CANDLES were lit last night in memory of broadcaster Stephen Clements on the first anniversary of his death.

It came after the foundation set up in honour of the BBC Radio Ulster host (47) had asked for people to remember him by lighting a candle at 7pm.

The foundation said that a year on, "the pain and loss is felt every day".

The father-of-two died suddenly last January, just four months after starting what he described as "the job of a lifetime" when he took over Sean Coyle's mid-morning slot.

He also worked as a presenter for BBC NI's coverage of the Open golf championship at Royal Portrush in July 2019 and shortly after became the new host of Radio Ulster's mid-morning show.

The new role had come after he had carved out a successful broadcasting career which saw him turn Q Radio's breakfast show into one of the most popular programmes in the north.

His death prompted an outpouring of tributes across Northern Ireland and beyond.

His brother Gavin described him as his "inspiration and hero".

The Stephen Clements Foundation was established last year to keep the radio host's memory alive and raise funds for local charities.

In a post on social media, the foundation appealed for people to pause on the "first anniversary since Stephen Clements left this world".

"Our hearts are broken and even though a year has gone by, the pain and loss is felt every day," it said.

"Please pause for a few moments, think of Stephen's huge big grin and a time where he made you giggle, smile or cry with laughter.

"Although he has left us, his legacy will live on forever.

"As always thank you for your continued support and kindness."

The Belfast Giants, who Mr Clements worked with, also said yesterday that they were "remembering our great friend".

"Never far from our thoughts, he was a much-loved member of the Belfast Giants family and is greatly missed," they said.

Fans also shared their memories of the broadcaster and their sadness at his passing a year on.

"Stephen was a legend who will never be forgotten," wrote one fan.

"He entertained the nation with his Northern Ireland humour and although I had never met him, he felt like a friend, whose presence I have sorely missed."

Another wrote: "Very rarely a day passes that I don't think of Stephen and the legacy he has left", while another added that "we will never forget Stephen and the laughs he gave me every morning on the school run. His humour was the best."

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