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Rugby figures attend Spence family funeral

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Nevin Spence, 22, came to prominence playing for Ulster Rugby and was a rising star in Ireland's international rugby scene

Nevin Spence, 22, came to prominence playing for Ulster Rugby and was a rising star in Ireland's international rugby scene

Ulster rugby player Nevin Spence who was killed, along with his father and brother in a farming accident

Ulster rugby player Nevin Spence who was killed, along with his father and brother in a farming accident

David Rogers

Book of condolence opened at Ravenhill rugby ground for Ulster rugby star Nevin Spence along with his brother Graham and father Noel who died in a slurry tank accident on the family farm outside Hillsborough in Co. Down.  Tributes placed at Ravenhill

Book of condolence opened at Ravenhill rugby ground for Ulster rugby star Nevin Spence along with his brother Graham and father Noel who died in a slurry tank accident on the family farm outside Hillsborough in Co. Down. Tributes placed at Ravenhill

Book of condolence opened at Ravenhill rugby ground for Ulster rugby star Nevin Spence along with his brother Graham and father Noel who died in a slurry tank accident on the family farm outside Hillsborough in Co. Down.  Tributes placed at Ravenhill

Book of condolence opened at Ravenhill rugby ground for Ulster rugby star Nevin Spence along with his brother Graham and father Noel who died in a slurry tank accident on the family farm outside Hillsborough in Co. Down. Tributes placed at Ravenhill

A painting of Nevin Spence by his sister Emma.

A painting of Nevin Spence by his sister Emma.

Book of condolence opened at Ravenhill rugby ground for Ulster rugby star Nevin Spence along with his brother Graham and father Noel who died in a slurry tank accident on the family farm outside Hillsborough in Co. Down.  Tributes placed at Ravenhill

Book of condolence opened at Ravenhill rugby ground for Ulster rugby star Nevin Spence along with his brother Graham and father Noel who died in a slurry tank accident on the family farm outside Hillsborough in Co. Down. Tributes placed at Ravenhill

Artist Emma Spence from Hillsborough County Down pictured at her studio in a barn at the rear of her father's farm.  ©Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland.25th February 2011

Artist Emma Spence from Hillsborough County Down pictured at her studio in a barn at the rear of her father's farm. ©Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland.25th February 2011

Pacemaker Press 17/9/2012    Graham Spence

Pacemaker Press 17/9/2012 Graham Spence

Graham Spence at his Hillsborough farm.

Graham Spence at his Hillsborough farm.

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Nevin Spence on the family farm.  Pacemaker press

Nevin Spence on the family farm. Pacemaker press

John Dickson

Ulster's Nevin Spence

Ulster's Nevin Spence

Darren Kidd

Nevin Spence, father Noel and brother Graham

Nevin Spence, father Noel and brother Graham

Nevin Spence playing for Ulster last December against the Scarletts

Nevin Spence playing for Ulster last December against the Scarletts

Darren Kidd

Nevin Spence at Ulster's summer camp

Nevin Spence at Ulster's summer camp

Brian Thompson

Nevin Spence in action for Ulster against Bath

Nevin Spence in action for Ulster against Bath

©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Nevin Spence with Ulster team-mate Nigel Brady back in December 2010

Nevin Spence with Ulster team-mate Nigel Brady back in December 2010

Darren Kidd

Nevin Spence relaxing down on the farm

Nevin Spence relaxing down on the farm

John Dickson

Nevin Spence (far left) with young Oscar Knox who suffers from a rare form of cancer

Nevin Spence (far left) with young Oscar Knox who suffers from a rare form of cancer

Gifted: Accident survivor Emma Spence on the family farm

Gifted: Accident survivor Emma Spence on the family farm

Emma Spence in her artist's studio

Emma Spence in her artist's studio

Emma Spence's portrait of brother Nevin on the rugby pitch

Emma Spence's portrait of brother Nevin on the rugby pitch

Ulster's Nevin Spence

Ulster's Nevin Spence

Horror: The Spence farm, where emergency services attended on Saturday night after four people were overcome by fumes

Horror: The Spence farm, where emergency services attended on Saturday night after four people were overcome by fumes

Horror: The Spence farm, where emergency services attended on Saturday night after four people were overcome by fumes

Horror: The Spence farm, where emergency services attended on Saturday night after four people were overcome by fumes

Darren Kidd

Tributes for Nevin Spence and his family left at Ravenhill

Tributes for Nevin Spence and his family left at Ravenhill

A family console each other while reading messages of condolence at the home of Ulster Rugby

A family console each other while reading messages of condolence at the home of Ulster Rugby

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Nevin Spence, who died alongside his father Noel and brother Graham

Nevin Spence, who died alongside his father Noel and brother Graham

Darren Kidd

Ulster's Nevin Spence

Ulster's Nevin Spence

Darren Kidd

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Tributes left at Ulster Rugby's home ground Ravenhill for Nevin Spence and his family.

Nevin Spence, 22, came to prominence playing for Ulster Rugby and was a rising star in Ireland's international rugby scene

Rugby players and officials from across Ireland are expected to attend the funerals today of the young Ulster star Nevin Spence, his father and brother who died in a farming tragedy.

Police have warned of considerable traffic disruption in and around Ballynahinch, Co Down where a service of thanksgiving is taking place for the three men in the town's Baptist Church.

There will be an earlier private service in the family home outside Hillsborough where the three men were overcome by fumes from a slurry tank last Saturday evening after Nevin and Graham Spence's father Noel, 58, went to retrieve a pet dog.

Spence family tragedy - Book of Condolences

The Irish Rugby Football Union has requested flags at all club grounds be flown at half mast and there will be a minute's silence before the start of Leinster and Munster's home PRO12 games on Saturday evening after which fans will be invited to sing the Ulster supporters anthem, Stand Up For The Ulster Men (SUFTUM).

Johann Muller, the Ulster captain and one of four South Africans on the squad, said the memory of Nevin Spence, 22, one of the team's centres and a potential future full Irish international, would last forever.

He declared: "Players will move on or retire and new players will come in and represent the province. But going forward, at Ulster rugby, one thing will never change. As long as this great club exists, the person and the player, Nevin Spence, will never be forgotten."

Ulster fans will pay their own tribute at a special memorial service at Ravenhill, Belfast, the home ground, on Sunday afternoon.

Belfast Telegraph


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