Northern Ireland

Co Armagh teenager who died three days after crash remembered as talented footballer and beautiful son

Ben Gillis (19) died on Wednesday. Picture from Hanover FC/ Facebook
Ben Gillis (19) died on Wednesday. Picture from Hanover FC/ Facebook

A Co Armagh teenager who died three days after he was injured in a road crash has been remembered as a talented footballer and a "beautiful" son.

Ben Gillis (19) from Tandragee had been left in critical condition in hospital following the single vehicle collision in Richhill on Sunday.

Police said the crash, which involved a blue Mercedes A Class, happened on the Marlacoo Road at around 5.30pm.

The teenager died in hospital on Wednesday.

In a post on Facebook, his devastated mother Lynne McClimonds wrote: "This evening our beautiful son, Ben, passed away peacefully.

"As parents we wish to thank everyone for their prayers, thoughts and messages over the past few days.

"As a family we would appreciate our time and privacy this evening and tomorrow morning."

The young man, a former pupil at Tandragee High School, was a footballer at Hanover FC in Portadown.

The club wrote on social media that "it is with great sadness that we share with you the devastating news that Hanover player Ben Gillis sadly passed away".

"A great young lad who will be sorely missed by all at Hanover Football Club," the post said.

"We send our deepest sympathies and support to all Ben’s family, friends and teammates.

"All footballing activities throughout all age groups at Hanover FC and Hanover FC Youth Academy has now been suspended in respect of Ben’s passing."

Armagh True Blues Flute Band, of which Ben’s father Colin is a member, also said its thoughts were with the teenager's family.

"The band are deeply saddened to hear the heartbreaking news that Ben Gillis son of our member Colin Gillis has passed away,” they said.

"Our thoughts, prayers and support are with Colin and indeed the entire family circle at this extremely difficult time.

"As a mark of respect the band will not be parading this weekend.”

Police have appealed for witnesses to the crash or anyone with information to contact them.