Nevin Spence

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Nevin Spence
Date of birth (1990-04-26)26 April 1990
Place of birth Annahilt, Northern Ireland
Date of death 15 September 2012(2012-09-15) (aged 22)
Place of death Hillsborough, Northern Ireland
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 95 kg (14 st 13 lb)
School Wallace High School
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Centre, Wing
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
-2012 Ballynahinch
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2010–12 Ulster 42 (25)
correct as of 16 Sep 2012.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2008–10
2011–12
Ireland U20
Ireland Wolfhounds
11
3
(20)
(0)
correct as of 16 September 2012.

Nevin Spence (26 April 1990 – 15 September 2012) was an Irish rugby union player for Ulster in the RaboDirect Pro12. He played as a Centre, but could also play Wing. He was educated firstly at Dromore High School, where he was introduced to rugby, and then at Wallace High School.[1] He played his club rugby with Ballynahinch.[2] He was also a capable footballer, playing for the Northern Ireland U-16's.[3]

Club career[edit]

Nevin rose to prominence at Ballynahinch during the hugely successful 2009/10 season. The club won the Ulster Senior League, Cup, AIL Division 2 and All-Ireland Cup all in a single season. Nevin was also a member of the Ulster Rugby Academy. Spence first tasted professional rugby against the Ospreys in April 2010. In the little more than two seasons that he played for Ulster he made 42 appearances, despite suffering a number of shoulder injuries.

International career[edit]

He made 11 appearances for the Ireland national under-20 rugby union team, scoring four tries, and played twice at the IRB Junior World Championships.[4] After some strong performances for Ulster and two appearances for Ireland Wolfhounds, he was called up to Ireland's senior training squad for the 2011 Six Nations. His talent was recognised by his fellow professionals in 2011 when he was named Young Player of the Year at the IRUPA Players' Awards. In May 2012 he played for Ireland against the Barbarians in a non-capped game played at Gloucester's Kingsholm Stadium.[5]

Death[edit]

Spence died, along with his brother Graham and father Noel, in an accident at the family farm in Hillsborough, County Down on 15 September 2012. It was reported that his father, brother, Nevin and his sister were overcome by fumes in a slurry tank at the family farm, possibly while trying to save a dog.[6] Spence's sister was treated in hospital and survived the accident.[7][8]

As a mark of respect for Spence, a minute's silence was observed at many rugby games in Britain and Ireland the following week.[9] A memorial service was held at Ravenhill Stadium, the home ground of Ulster Rugby, on Sunday 23 September 2012.[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]