Belfast Telegraph

Ulster skipper Rory Best's tribute on anniversary of Nevin tragedy

By John Cassidy

Ulster Rugby's captain has said his memories of Nevin Spence still bring him joy, two years after his talented team-mate died in a farming accident.

Nevin (22) died along with his brother Graham (30) and father Noel (58) in a slurry tank tragedy at the family farm near Hillsborough on September 15, 2012.

In moving tributes, Ulster Rugby acknowledged the "profound impact" the passing of the young athlete had had on the club. In a statement it said: "Two years on, it is still impossible to comprehend how a young player, so talented, so humble and with such a massive future in both sport and life, could be so cruelly taken from us.

"Following his death, a commitment was made that as long as Ulster Rugby exists, the name and the player 'Nevin Spence' will never be forgotten."

Ulster captain Rory Best said the two years had flown by, but rugby has gone on.

"If you ask any member of the squad they will be able to tell you exactly where they were when they heard the devastating news," he said.

"We will reflect and there will be sadness. However, we will also enjoy sharing stories about him – things that he did on the rugby pitch, games that he played and those terrible jokes that he told.

"Today is a sad day, but those memories of Nevin bring so much joy."

Head of physiotherapy at Ulster Rugby, Gareth Robinson, said September 15 was now a permanent anniversary in Ulster's season.

He said: "The date is fixed. There will be no cheering crowd, no tries, no crunching tackles and no points won or lost. The result will be the same each year. It will be the reality check in the often-mad world of professional rugby."

Belfast Telegraph

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