Nevin Spence Tribute

Many of us are totally stunned, just lost for words, so we thought we would share some of the very fine tributes that have been posted on the BBC News website.

BBC News

Rising Ulster Rugby player Nevin Spence died on Saturday along with his brother Graham and his father Noel in a slurry tank accident at the farm in Hillsborough, County Down.

The 22-year-old, who at represented Ulster 42 times, mainly at centre, was tipped as a future Ireland international.

 A range of rugby, other sports and political figures have expressed their shock at the deaths.

Brian O’Driscoll, Ireland rugby captain

“Devastating news about Nevin Spence, his dad and brother.  What a wonderful talent he was. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

Peter Robinson, Northern Ireland first minister

“Deeply saddened to hear of the tragedy in Hillsborough this evening.  My thoughts and prayers are with family at this time of devastation.”

David Humphreys, Director of Rugby at Ulster Rugby

“Nevin Spence was a dream player to work with.  He was the epitome of what we were looking for.  On days when nobody else wanted to come in and train, he was there leading from the front.  All he wanted to do for the rest of his career was to stay here and win trophies for Ulster.  Ulster Rugby would be a poorer place without him.”

Shane Logan, chief executive of Ulster Rugby

“I am deeply saddened by this tragic news. Nevin was a wonderful player but also a wonderful person.  He was well liked by everyone who knew him and his loss will be deeply felt by his teammates and everyone at Ulster Rugby.”

Billy Glynn, president of the Irish Rugby Football Union

“Nevin was an outstanding young player which was evident from his progression through the representative ranks and the game has been robbed of a very talented young man.  The rugby community in Ireland is a very close knit one and there has been widespread shock and an outpouring of grief at this news.”

Rory McIlroy, golfer

“Just heard the tragic news of Nevin Spence and his family.  Makes you cherish every day you have on this Earth.”

Barry McGuigan, former WBA featherwight boxing champion

“Tragic news about Nevin Spence and his family, in County Down, Northern Ireland.  My deepest heart felt sympathy to his family.”

Shane Williams, former Wales rugby international

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Nevin Spence.  A tragic loss.  A class act on the field also.”

Tyrone GAA

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends in Ulster Rugby.  God bless the family and friends of Nevin Spence, his brother and dad.”

Ian Humphreys, London Irish, formerly of Ulster

“Devastated to hear the news about Nevin Spence and his brother and dad.

Prayers with all his family.  RIP Nev, you’ll never be forgotten.”

Mark Allen, snooker player

“What a loss for the family and for Ulster and Irish rugby.  In shock here.”

Ben Foden, England rugby international

“RIP Nevin Spence and his father and brother.  Thoughts are with his family, friends and team-mates at Ulster.  Such a tragic accident.”

George North, Wales international

“Horrendous news about Nevin Spence and family.  Thoughts are with friends and family.”

Edwin Poots, Health Minister and farmer

“The Spence family were held in high regard in the entire community.  While a lot of people may focus on Nevin because he played for the Ulster rugby team we do need to focus on Noel and Graham at this time.  Noel has left a wife and two daughters, Graham a wife and two children.  Whilst a place in a rugby team can be filled a place in the home of all three men will never be filled.”

Dan Carter, New Zealand All Blacks

 “The rugby community in Ireland is a very close knit one and there has been widespread shock and an outpouring of grief at this news.”