Ulster pay tribute to Spence
Published 16/09/2012 | 11:02
Ulster have paid tribute to "a much-loved and talented member of the squad" after centre Nevin Spence's death in a farming accident.
The 22-year-old died along with his father and brother on Saturday after falling into a slurry tank on their family farm in Hillsborough, County Down. His sister Emma is still being treated for the effects of fume inhalation. Reports suggest Nevin and Emma were attempting to rescue their brother and father, who had already fallen into the tank.
A statement released by Ulster read: "It was with profound sadness that Ulster Rugby learned of the tragic death of Nevin Spence, a much-loved and talented member of the Ulster squad. Ulster Rugby also wishes to express its deep sorrow at the death of Nevin's father Noel and brother Graham."
Chief executive Shane Logan added: "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 team-mates and everyone at Ulster Rugby.
"He will be sorely missed and the thoughts of everyone involved in the game are with his family at this time."
Irish Rugby Football Union president Billy Glynn also expressed his condolences. A statement from Glynn released by the IRFU read: "This is a terrible tragedy that has struck the Spence family and the thoughts of everybody in Irish Rugby are with them at this time.
"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 Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said it responded to a 999 call at about 6.15pm following reports that at least three people had fallen into a slurry tank. The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service also attended and rescued four people from the slurry pit.
Following the lengthy rescue operation it was confirmed that three men had died and a woman was taken to hospital for treatment for the inhalation of fumes.
Ulster fly-half Ian Humphreys wrote on Twitter: "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..."