Belfast Telegraph

Funeral of Northern Ireland fan Darren Rodgers to take place next week

By Nevin Farrell

The funeral of Northern Ireland football fan Darren Rodgers who tragically died at the Euro 2016 finals is set to take place next Friday.

A service for the 24-year-old from Meadowvale, Ballymena, is provisionally scheduled to take place at St Patrick's Church of Ireland in the town.

A notice on the website of James Henry Funeral Services says Friday is the expected date but the exact time has yet to be finalised.

It said: "If arrangements go to plan Darren’s funeral will be in St Patrick’s Parish Church Ballymena on Friday 24th. Time to be arranged."

Darren - known as Dar Dar by his friends - died suddenly in Nice after a fall from a promenade.

Hours earlier he watched Northern Ireland's opening game against Poland.

He was the only son of Jacqueline and Paul Rodgers.

Many fans have been wearing Northern Ireland shirts with Dar Dar and the number 24 on the back in tribute to popular Darren who was well known in Ballymena as a footballer in the local league.

At Northern Ireland's second match of the tournament against Ukraine on Thursday players wore black armbands as a mark of respect.

And both sets of fans gave Darren a huge ovation in the 24th minute of the game to coincide with his age.

The fans chanted: "There's only one Darren Rodgers".

A banner carrying his name was also held aloft at the ground.

Republic of Ireland fans also paid tribute to Darren by singing ‘Stand up for the Ulsterman’ in the 24th minute of their match with Sweden.

Tragedy had struck just hours after the Poland game.

Darren was walking along the Nice's promenade when he fell more than 20ft.

His dad Paul said on Tuesday: "People have been very kind and very helpful. I don't know how I feel, I don't know how we'll get on. It's a lot to take in and at this stage I really can't accept it or understand it."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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