Monday 25 September 2017

WATCH: Unprompted applause followed by reverent moment of silence for Ulster's Nevin Spence

The Ulster squad stand for a minute's silence for the 5th anniversary of former Ulster player Nevin Spence before the Guinness PRO14 Round 3 match between Ulster and Scarlets at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
The Ulster squad stand for a minute's silence for the 5th anniversary of former Ulster player Nevin Spence before the Guinness PRO14 Round 3 match between Ulster and Scarlets at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

A raucous round of unprompted applause was given to former Ulster player Nevin Spence at the Kingspan Stadium on Friday night on the fifth anniversary of his tragic passing.

A moment of silence was held for Spence and his brother Graham and father Noel, who were all killed in a tragic slurry tank accident on the family farm in 2012.

A 2013 inquest into the deaths said that the accident was the worst farming tragedy in Northern Ireland for 20 years.

The inquest had been told that Graham Spence entered the slurry tank first in an attempt to rescue a dog, when he was overcome by fumes and his 22-year-old brother, Nevin, went in to try to save him but lost consciousness.

Their father Noel then entered the tank but he too was overcome by slurry gas.

Luke Marshall, a former teammate of Spence's at Ulster, said that the province's Friday night game with the defending champion Scarlets would be an inevitably emotional affair.

"It'll definitely be poignant," said the centre, who will wear the same 13 jersey occupied by Spence over the course of his 42 outings for his native province.

"It's crazy to think it was five years ago, it feels like it was last week.

"Remembering Nevin and the tragedy of him, his brother and his dad losing their lives, it's poignant no matter what time of the year, whether it's the anniversary or not. But it will be emotional certainly."

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