Northern Ireland fan Robert Rainey died “doing what he loved best”

Family of Belfast man say they are devastated by the loss

Robert Rainey

Robert Rainey | Photo: PSNI

The family of the Northern Ireland fan who passed away during the team’s Euro 2016 game against Ukraine have said they are devastated by his death.

Robert Rainey, a Belfast man in his 60s, collapsed last night while watching the match in the Stade de Lyon. A medical team had tried but failed to resuscitate him.

His children said in a statement released through the PSNI that their father, known as Archie, died “surrounded by all his friends and family, doing what he loved best”.

“We are obviously devastated at this loss, and thankful for everyone’s thoughts and prayers,” they said. “We would appreciate privacy at this sensitive time.”

PSNI superintendent Nigel Goddard said: "Our thoughts are tragically with a second family this week mourning the devastating loss of their loved one.

"We understand the man aged in his sixties collapsed during the game and was attended to by emergency services in the Stade de Lyon.

"It is extremely sad that this is the second death of a Northern Ireland fan in France during the Euro 2016 games.”

The tragedy came just three days after the death of Darren Rodgers from Ballymena.

The 24-year-old passed away on Monday after falling around eight metres from an elevated promenade in Nice.

Northern Ireland fans held an applause in tribute to Mr Rodgers last night. The team went on to beat Ukraine by two goals to nil.