Larne’s Gareth McAuley extends sympathy after NI fan’s tragic death in Nice

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 10th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry

Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley pictured during Fridays press conference in St Georges de Reneins, France ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 10th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley pictured during Fridays press conference in St Georges de Reneins, France ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday.

Northern Ireland star Gareth McAuley has extended his condolences to the family of a young fan who tragically died in Nice last night.

The 25-year-old Northern Ireland fan who lost his life following a fall in the French city has been widely named by media outlets as Darren Rodgers from Ballymena.

It is understood he died after an eight-metre fall from a seafront promenade.

After hearing the shocking news this morning, Larne man McAuley took to Twitter to express his sympathy, stating: “You think things are bad then learn one of your own loses his life last night. Thoughts with family and friends . #GAWA #family”

Superintendent Nigel Goddard is in charge of the PSNI operation in France and said the death was a tragic accident.

“The processes are that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will make contact with this man’s family and take it from there. I believe it was an accident - not in any way disorder related, obviously a personal tragedy.

In a statement, chief executive of the IFA Patrick Nelson expressed their “deep sadness”.

He said: “On behalf of the board, management, players and staff of the Irish Football Association, I would like to express my deep sadness at the tragic death of a Northern Ireland supporter in Nice in the early hours of this morning.

“The thoughts of everyone at the Association are with his family and friends at this time.”