Tag Archives: emergency

Nani unhurt after crash with police car

Nani unhurt after Man United star's Bentley collides with unmarked police car

By
Ian Leonard

PUBLISHED:

11:04 GMT, 16 February 2013

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UPDATED:

11:04 GMT, 16 February 2013

Manchester United winger Nani escaped uninjured after his luxury Bentley was involved in a crash with a police car.

The 26-year-old’s Bentley Continental careered into a central reservation and smashed into bollards after colliding with the unmarked Ford Mondeo, which was responding to a 999 call.

The crash happened around 6.40pm on Friday on Gatley Road, near the junction of Kingsway, in Stockport.

Unhurt: Nani's Bentley Continental collided with an unmarked police car

Unhurt: Nani's Bentley Continental collided with an unmarked police car

The officer who was driving the police car and Nani were unhurt while another officer, who was a passenger in the Mondeo, received minor injuries.

Both vehicles suffered minor damage.

Police have launched an investigation and an officer has been suspended from driving in line with normal procedures.

Witnesses told how Nani, who was dressed in his United training kit, was led away by officers for questioning.

One told the Manchester Evening News: 'I could see the Bentley had gone head-on into the bollards at the traffic lights and the car had been a bit bashed up at the front.

'I wondered who was driving the Bentley and when I had a quick look in the police car Nani was sat there in his training kit.'

'He looked a bit shocked.'

It’s understood The Portuguese star was travelling to his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, at the time of crash.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said: 'At about 6.40pm on Friday, an unmarked police car responding to an emergency call was travelling along Gatley road at the junction with Kingsway, Stockport.

'As the police car entered the junction it collided with a Bentley, Continental.

'The passenger in the police car received minor injuries and only minor damage was caused to both vehicles.

'The police driver has been suspended from driving duties in line with normal procedure.'

Battle: Nani (right) holds off Fulham's Sascha Riether earlier this month

Battle: Nani (right) holds off Fulham's Sascha Riether earlier this month

Crash: Nani's Bentley Continental, like the car above, was involved in the collision (stock image)

Crash: Nani's Bentley Continental, like the car above, was involved in the collision (stock image)

Tito Vilanova set to step down as Barcelona coach after tumour relapse

Vilanova set to step down as Barcelona coach after tumour relapse

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UPDATED:

15:47 GMT, 19 December 2012

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova is set to step down from his post after suffering a relapse of a tumour he had removed last year.

The 44-year-old had a tumour on his parotid gland removed in emergency surgery last November when he was the club's assistant manager.

The parotid gland is the largest of the human salivary glands.

But during a recent medical check-up, it was found that the tumour had returned. He is reportedly undergoing emergency surgery in a Barcelona hospital at the moment.

It was announced in April that Vilanova would take over as Barca coach following Pep Guardiola's decision to step down at the end of the season and take a year-long sabbatical from the game.

Stepping down: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has suffered a relapse of a tumour he had removed last November

Stepping down: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has suffered a relapse of a tumour he had removed last November

Vilanova was Guardiola's assistant
during four hugely successful years at the Nou Camp which saw Barca win
13 trophies, including two Champions League crowns and three Primera
Division titles.

Vilanova has enjoyed a superb start to his tenure in the hotseat,
helping Barca establish a nine-point lead at the top of the league
standings after winning 15 of their opening 16 games while drawing the
other.

Barca are also through to the knockout stages of the Champions League
and hold a 2-0 first-leg lead over Cordoba in their Copa del Rey last-16
tie.

The club cancelled a scheduled press conference involving Club President Sandro Rosell on Wednesday as the news broke, as well as the staff Christmas party.

A training session scheduled for 6pm UK time this evening, and which was open to the public for the first 15 minutes, has been closed off.

Barcelona
have announced that no decision will be made on a potential replacement
until Vilanova has spoken to the players.

The news broke on the same day defender Eric Abidal was given the all-clear to resume his playing career following a liver transplant.

VILANOVA'S RECORD AT BARCELONA SO FAR

Pld 27 W 23 D 2 L 2 (85.18% win ratio)

Successor: Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola (right) as Barcelona manager in the summer

Successor: Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola (right) as Barcelona manager in the summer

Messages of support flooded in for Vilanova from throughout the sporting world.

'Very sorry to hear the news,' Barca midfielder Xavi said on his official Twitter account.

Former tennis world number one Rafa
Nadal said: 'All my strength and support for Tito Vilanova! We are all
with you to overcome this next hurdle.'

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero ‏tweeted: 'We support you, #AnimoTito! We wish you the strength to overcome this moment.'

His Spanish teammate David Silva added: 'All my support and best wishes to Tito and all of the people in the world fighting every day against cancer. Be strong #AnimoTito'

Former Barcelona striker Gary Lineker tweeted: 'Very sorry to hear Tito Vilanova, the Barca coach, is undergoing surgery after a cancer relapse. Thoughts are with him.'

A statement on the Madrid website read: 'Real Madrid want to express their support and best wishes for the coach of FC Barcelona, Tito Vilanova, and wish him a very rapid recovery. Real Madrid offer their support to his club and to all his family.'

Good job: Barcelona are nine points clear at the summit of La Liga

Good job: Barcelona are nine points clear at the summit of La Liga

Vilanova was out of action for around
three weeks after surgery last year, but returned to the dugout to help
Guardiola for the last six months of the 2011-12 campaign.

The quietly-spoken Catalan said the experience had left him with a different perspective on life, at his presentation in June.

'I had an important operation a few
months ago,' he said. 'I spoke with the medics and my family about the
job, but they all said I was perfectly okay and there was no problem.

'Having overcome this operation it
gives me a different view on life. Perhaps, after what has happened,
training Barca will be like kids play.'

Barca released a press statement this morning announcing they had suspended all activities for today but did not go into details and did not mention Vilanova.

The club confirmed a further announcement would be made later today.

The statement read: 'Barcelona announce that it is has suspended the press conference from president Sandro Rosell planned for midday. As well as that, the media Christmas lunch has been cancelled.

'Later today the club will issue a further release. Until that time we will not make any announcement about this matter.

'We regret any inconvenience this decision may cause.'

Carlo Cudicini wants UEFA to punish Lazio after Tottenham fans attacked

Appalled Cudicini wants UEFA to act after Italian fans attack Spurs supporters

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UPDATED:

00:40 GMT, 24 November 2012

Carlo Cudicini has called on UEFA to consider drastic action to end Italy’s football-related violence after the attack on Tottenham fans in city he once called home.

Fans were stabbed and one seriously hurt during a terrifying attack on a pub by a masked gang ahead of Thursday’s game between Lazio and Spurs.

Tottenham’s Italian goalkeeper told his Twitter followers that he felt 'ashamed' and, as arrests were made in Rome, urged the authorities to act.

Scroll down for video

Stop this: Carlo Cudicini is appalled at the behaviour of his countrymen

Stop this: Carlo Cudicini is appalled at the behaviour of his countrymen

Overshadowed: Ultras ran amok in Rome's Drunken Ship pub on Wednesday night, injuring several Spurs fans

Overshadowed: Ultras ran amok in Rome's Drunken Ship pub on Wednesday night, injuring several Spurs fans

BLATTER'S CONCERN

FIFA president showed his concern for Tottenham fans on twitter.

@SeppBlatter: 'Distressed to read about attack on THFC fans in Rome. Fans should be able to watch their team safely & not end up in hospital.'

'If this is keeping happening, UEFA
has to do something,' said Cudicini. 'I can’t think about Italy as a
dangerous place to come. If this keeps happening then something has to
be done.'

English football was once a by-word
for violence and English teams were banned by UEFA from European
competitions until these issues were tackled.

'England can become a role model for
all nations,' said Cudicini. 'It’s a country that should be looked at in
terms of how to solve the hooligan problems.

'Now there are not a lot of incidents
in England and the English stadiums have places for families to go and
for children to come and watch matches.” Spurs fan Ashley Mills needed
emergency surgery after suffering stab wounds to his groin and head
injuries during the attack on the Drunken Ship pub in Campo de’ Fiori.
Ten others were hurt.

'I can’t really understand it,' said
Cudicini. 'Italy has never been a violent place to come, even when lots
of Italian teams were in Europe and lots of away supporters were going
everywhere.

'It is a general moment of economic difficulties but that’s not an excuse. I don’t know why they did that.

Furious: Andre Villas-Boas greets Lazio counterpart Vladimir Petkovic after the match - but the Portuguese was livid with the home fans

Furious: Andre Villas-Boas (left) greets Lazio counterpart Vladimir Petkovic after the match – but the Portuguese was livid with the home fans

'When I was playing in Italy we looked
at England like it was a very dangerous place to go and I’ve found it
quite strange that now it’s the opposite.

'I imagine people travelling to Rome
to look at the city and watch the game and suddenly they find out other
people out there are trying to almost kill them.

'It’s shocking. Hopefully the people are better and the family is OK. That is the main thing.'

Rome police and Lazio claimed the
attack was the work of a neo-Nazi group unconnected to football with
anti-Semitic motives, targeting Spurs because of their Jewish links.
Among those arrested yesterday were two known Roma fans.

Spelling it out: Lazio fans display a banner and Palestine flags at the Stadio Olympico

Spelling it out: Lazio fans display a banner and Palestine flags at the Stadio Olympico

'Whether they are from right or left
it’s not been a problem before,' said Cudicini. 'Every supporter has
different political views but that doesn’t mean they have to go around
trying to kill people.'

UEFA are also investigating reports of
anti-Semitic chants during the Europa League tie in the Olympic
Stadium. The FA, who sent a crowd control advisor to the match, will
submit a report to UEFA.

Italian football federation president
Giancarlo Abete has apologised to Tottenham, its fans and the families
of those injured in a letter to his British counterpart, David
Bernstein. Abete pledged to follow the investigation personally.

'Unfortunately once again, football
has been the occasion for a group of delinquents to vent their racist
and anti-Semitic rage, given that this was undoubtedly the motive of an
assault that damaged Italian football’s image and doesn’t correspond
with Rome’s tradition of hospitality,' Abete wrote.

No way through: Lazio and Spurs conjured a goalless draw

No way through: Lazio and Spurs conjured a goalless draw

VIDEO: Eyewitness describes the horrific scene…

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Aston Villa loan Alan Hutton to Nottingham Forest

Villa defender Hutton heads to Forest on emergency loan deal until January

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UPDATED:

22:21 GMT, 22 November 2012

Alan Hutton has joined Nottingham Forest until the New Year following an emergency loan deal with Aston Villa.

The Scotland international, who has failed to start a match for the club under Paul Lambert, will be available to Sean O'Driscoll for nine games.

He will be in Forest's squad for the trip to Molineux to face Wolves.

On the move: Scotland and Villa defender Alan Hutton (centre)

On the move: Scotland and Villa defender Alan Hutton (centre)

FIFA block Didier Drogba attempt to rejoin Chelsea on emergency loan

FIFA block Drogba's request to rejoin Chelsea on emergency loan as veteran hitman bids to build up to African Cup of Nations

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UPDATED:

15:42 GMT, 22 November 2012

FIFA has denied Didier Drogba’s request for special permission to leave Shanghai Shenhua on loan ahead of the official transfer period, ending speculation he could join former club Chelsea immediately.

FIFA says it informed Drogba he won’t be exempted from international transfer rules while under contract with the Chinese Super League club, whose season ended this month.

Drogba, whose contract expires in 2014, can join another club on a permanent or temporary deal on January 1.

Come back Didier Drogba wants to move on loan to prepare for the African Cup of Nations

Come back Didier Drogba wants to move on loan to prepare for the African Cup of Nations

The 34-year-old Ivory Coast captain hoped to play extra matches to prepare for the African Cup of Nations, which kicks off January 19 in South Africa.

FIFA upheld its rules in previous cases when making Major League Soccer players David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan wait until January to make loan moves.

Drogba is an iconic figure in Chelsea
history and was back at Stamford Bridge on November 11 to see his old
team draw 1-1 with Liverpool.

Flying visit: Didier Drogba made a visit to Chelsea's Cobham training base back in August and was pictured with John Mikel Obi, Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic

Flying visit: Didier Drogba made a visit to Chelsea's Cobham training base back in August and was pictured with John Mikel Obi, Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic

Chelsea
appeared to be missing his powerful presence Tuesday in a 3-0 loss to
Juventus in the Champions League, which led to manager Roberto Di Matteo
being sacked early Wednesday.

Speaking earlier this month, Drogba
indicated that he would be keen to return to Chelsea to train ahead of
the tournament, but not play.

He
said: 'If everyone agrees, it is possible I will go and train there
until the African Cup starts. But that is all it will be.'

Crowning glory: Didier Drogba won the Champions League with Chelsea in his final game for the club

Crowning glory: Didier Drogba won the Champions League with Chelsea in his final game for the club

The
Ivorian is not the only former striker looking return to the Premier
League on a short-term deal. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger refused to
rule out a second loan move for New York Red Bulls striker Henry.

Wenger said he would make a decision
in January but admitted it was a tempting prospect given Henry's
qualities and the fact Arsenal will be 'short' of strikers in the new
year owing to the Africa Cup of Nations.

Fancy seeing you here: Wenger has refused to rule out re-signing Henry

Fancy seeing you here: Wenger has refused to rule out re-signing Henry

The
Arsenal manager said: 'You know what Thierry gives you: he gives you
hope, especially when he comes on (as a substitute). That is the most
important thing.

'He is a communicator, an extrovert and
very intelligent. I had always resisted (bringing him back). Last year I
did it because we lost Gervinho.

'This year we lose Gervinho again as
they are playing the Africa Cup of Nations two years in a row. So we
will be confronted with a shortage – particularly if (Marouane) Chamakh
should go. Then we will be short.'

Sir Norman Bettison "resigned before being dismissed after attempting to influence Hillsborough talks"

Hillsborough police chief 'quit before being dismissed after trying to influence talks over role in disaster'

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UPDATED:

16:19 GMT, 8 November 2012

Resigned: Sir Norman Bettison resigned after allegedly trying to influence talks over his part in the Hillsborough scandal

Resigned: Sir Norman Bettison resigned after allegedly trying to influence talks over his part in the Hillsborough scandal

One of Britain's most senior police officers, Sir Norman Bettison, resigned after learning he faced a possible dismissal having attempted to influence talks about the role he played in the Hillsborough scandal, documents have revealed.

Sir Norman contacted the chief executive of West Yorkshire Police Fraser Sampson before a meeting at which officials made the decision to refer him to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for alleged misconduct after the Hillsborough Panel’s damning report, according to minutes of the West Yorkshire Police Authority..

The conversation with Sampson would be enough to warrant Sir Norman’s sacking if it was proved he obstructed the ‘integrity of the complaints handling process’, the minutes indicate.

The IPCC had already announced that they were investigating a number of police officers involved in the 1989 disaster.

Sir Norman, who was the chief constable of the West Yorkshire Police until his resignation this month, is included in that list.

The former police chief was accused in the Hillsborough Panel’s report of being one of the main perpetrators in attempting to deflect blame from the police and emergency services to fans at the game.

Last month, the IPCC also announced that it was investigating claims that Sir Norman tried to influence the decision-making process of the police authority’s committee which were investigating the disciplinary matters against its senior officers, according to The Independent.

In the previously unseen minutes obtained by the PoliceOracle.com website via a freedom of information request, it was revealed that Sir Norman was not being accused of attempting to prevent the referral to the IPCC, but how that referral would be made.

According to the minutes, Sampson was asked to give the details of the conversation to the committee deciding Sir Norman’s fate on September 15.

Tragedy: 96 people died during the disaster in the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest

Tragedy: 96 people died during the disaster in the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest

On October 3 – at a private meeting – the minutes indicated that the conversation between Sir Norman and Sampson could result in ‘gross misconduct’ and dismissal if proved true.

When the committee was set to meet again three weeks later, on October 24, Sir Norman, who had led West Yorkshire Police since 2006, resigned, and it is believed he may have been suspended.

Labour MP Maria Eagle has already accused Sir Norman of being part of a ‘black ops’ unit set up to deflect blame from the police in the disaster which left 96 dead.

She also claimed that Sir Norman 'boasted' about cooking up lies to blame Liverpool fans for their part in the disaster.

Sir Norman denies these allegations.

But pressure had been mounting on Sir Norman following the initial publication of the independent panel’s report.

The damning report condemned the police’s response to the incident and their tampering with accounts subsequently.

Sir Norman, who said he had no plans to step down as chief constable in March 2013, said he left ‘not because of any allegations about the past, but because I share the view that this has become a distraction to policing in West Yorkshire now and in the future.’

His resignation means he will not face any misconduct charges, and Sir Norman has said he would cooperate fully with the IPCC inquiry.

Bettison was unavailable for comment on Wednesday evening.

Chaos: The Hillsborough Panel's report condemned the police's handling of the incident both during and after

Chaos: The Hillsborough Panel's report condemned the police's handling of the incident both during and after

Boris Vukcevic crash: Hoffenheim play Augsburg

Hoffenheim to face Augsburg despite Vukcevic lying in coma after smash

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UPDATED:

12:06 GMT, 29 September 2012

Hoffenheim's players have been told to go out and play for Boris Vukcevic by the parents of the midfielder, who is still in intensive care in a Heidelberg hospital following a road accident on Friday.

Hoffenheim host Augsburg on Saturday afternoon aware that the 22-year-old remains in a critical condition after suffering serious head injuries in the crash.

However, Vukcevic's parents, who are keeping a bedside vigil, say Boris would want them to fight for him.

Crash: Bors Vukcevic is in a coma after suffering life-threatening injuries

Crash: Bors Vukcevic is in a coma after suffering life-threatening injuries

'This is the most difficult situation the team has ever been in,' the club's general manager Andreas Muller said.

'We would have been able to call the game off, but the team decided unanimously to play.

'We want our positive energy to be transmitted to the lad. We want to fight for Boris because he is also a fighter.'

Their decision to take to the field at the Rhein-Neckar Arena was taken after receiving a message from the player's parents.

Destruction: Vukcevic was involved in head-on collision on Friday

Destruction: Vukcevic was involved in head-on collision on Friday

'After receiving that, the team and the club decided to play,' Muller added.

Vukcevic is in an induced coma after undergoing emergency surgery.

The former Germany Under 21 international's car collided head on with a lorry on a main road near the club's training ground and he had to be cut free by firefighters before being airlifted to hospital.

The driver of the lorry also needed hospital treatment for minor injuries.

Nevin Spence dies: Ulster centre tragedy trying to save father in slurry pit accident

Ulster star Spence dies while trying to save father in horrific slurry pit accident

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UPDATED:

09:14 GMT, 16 September 2012

Ulster centre Nevin Spence was killed alongside his brother and their father in a farming tragedy on Saturday which also injured their sister in Northern Ireland.

The 22-year-old rose to prominence playing for Ulster Rugby and was a rising star in Ireland's international rugby scene but died after falling into a slurry tank.

Emergency crews went to the family farm in Drumlough Road outside Hillsborough, Co Down, shortly after 6pm on Saturday following reports that four people had fallen into the slurry pit.

Shock: Professional rugby player Nevin Spence died along with his father and brother after falling into a slurry pit on the family farm

Shock: Professional rugby player Nevin Spence died along with his father and brother after falling into a slurry pit on the family farm

Terrible episode: Nevin died alongside his father Noel and brother Graham in the shocking accident on the farm

Terrible episode: Nevin died alongside his father Noel and brother Graham in the shocking accident on the farm

Following a lengthy rescue operation it was confirmed that three men had died and a woman was taken to hospital for treatment for the inhalation of fumes.

Nevin Spence was a member of the Ulster Rugby squad that reached the European Heineken cup final last season, and he was predicted to have a glittering international career ahead of him.

Rugby players and fans paid tribute to the young player on social media as news emerged of his involvement in the tragedy.

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said on Twitter: 'Deeply saddened to hear of the tragedy in Hillsborough this evening. My thoughts and prayers are with family at this time of devastation.'

Promising: Nevin Spence had a bright future ahead of him as a professional rugby player

Promising: Nevin Spence had a bright future ahead of him as a professional rugby player

Tributes appeared on Twitter feeds representing both the British and Irish Lions and the RaboDirect Pro12, the league in which Ulster play.

The Lions post read: 'All our thoughts are with the family and friends of Ulster centre Nevin Spence, his father and brother. Reportedly died in accident.'

The post on the Pro12 account read: 'Shocked. We just read about Nevin Spence. RIP. There are no words.'
Spence's erstwhile Ulster team-mate, fly-half Ian Humphreys, wrote: 'Devastated to hear the news about Nevin Spence and his brother and dad. Prayers with all his family… RIP Nev, you'll never be forgotten…'

Former Ireland and Munster hooker Jerry Flannery added: 'Terrible news on Nevin Spence, his Brother and their Dad. Offering up prayers for their family and friends, unbelievably sad.'

Former Wales winger Shane Williams was also among those to pay their respects on the social media site, writing: 'My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Nevin Spence. A tragic loss. A class act on the field also. RIP.'

Lives have been lost in the past in accidents at other farm slurry tanks, but the scale of the latest tragedy caused widespread shock.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said it responded to a 999 call at about 6.15pm following reports that at least three people had fallen into a slurry tank.

It said it immediately sent three rapid response paramedics, four accident and emergency vehicles and an ambulance service doctor to the scene.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service also attended and rescued four people from the slurry pit.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: 'Three were unconscious and NIAS paramedics commenced resuscitation efforts immediately assisted by other ambulance personnel.

Tragedy: Large numbers of emergency service vehicles attended the farm

Tragedy: Large numbers of emergency service vehicles attended the farm

'One of the four showed initial signs of responding to the efforts of the crews and was transported immediately to the nearby Lagan Valley Hospital, where unfortunately he died a short time later.

'Despite the best efforts of all involved the other two men died at the scene.

'A female was treated at the scene and taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital where she is recovering from the effects of fume inhalation.'

The ambulance service said it extended its sympathies to those involved.

The Ulster Farmers' Union said the tragedy had shocked the entire farming community.

Rory McIlroy paid tribute to rugby player Nevin Spence

Mark Allen paid tribute to rugby player Nevin Spence

Stunned: Golfer Rory McIlroy (left) and snooker player Mark Allen (right) led tributes to Nevin Spence

UFU president Harry Sinclair said: 'On behalf of all our members, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family involved.

'This news has shocked the farming community. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the three men who have so tragically lost their lives.

'We understand that a fourth member of the family has been hospitalised and we pray that they will make a full recovery.'

Tributes also came from notable Northern Irish sportsmen Rory McIlroy and Mark Allen.

McIlroy, golf's world number one, wrote on his Twitter account: “Just heard the tragic news of Nevin Spence and his family. Makes you cherish every day you have on this Earth.'

Snooker star Allen added: 'What a loss for the family and for ulster and Irish rugby!! In shock here!!'

NEVIN SPENCE FACTFILE

1990: Born April 26 in Annahilt, Northern Ireland.

2009: June 5 – Scores a try on his Ireland Under-20 debut against Argentina.

2010: April 13 – Makes his professional debut for Ulster as a last-minute substitute against the Ospreys in what was then the Magners League.

December 18 – Scores his first try for the province to secure a Heineken Cup win over Bath.

2011: January 28 – Appears for the Irish Wolfhounds against Scotland A, his first of three appearances for the Ireland second-string side.

May 6 – Scores two tries in a 20-13 win over Newport Gwent Dragons to finish with five for the season.

May 29 – Features as a late replacement for the Ireland senior squad against the Barbarians at Kingsholm, having previously trained with the RBS 6 Nations squad.

September 15 – Killed along with his father and brother in an accident in a slurry tank on their family farm in Hillsborough, County Down.

Ulster centre Nevin Spence dies trying to save father in slurry pit accident

Ulster star Spence dies while trying to save father in horrific slurry pit accident

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UPDATED:

07:04 GMT, 16 September 2012

Ulster centre Nevin Spence was killed alongside his brother and their father in a farming tragedy on Saturday which also injured their sister in Northern Ireland.

The 22-year-old rose to prominence playing for Ulster Rugby and was a rising star in Ireland's international rugby scene but died after falling into a slurry tank.

Emergency crews went to the family farm in Drumlough Road outside Hillsborough, Co Down, shortly after 6pm on Saturday following reports that four people had fallen into the slurry pit.

Terrible episode: Nevin died alongside his father Noel and brother Graham in the shocking accident on the farm

Terrible episode: Nevin died alongside his father Noel and brother Graham in the shocking accident on the farm

Following a lengthy rescue operation it was confirmed that three men had died and a woman was taken to hospital for treatment for the inhalation of fumes.

Nevin Spence was a member of the Ulster Rugby squad that reached the European Heineken cup final last season, and he was predicted to have a glittering international career ahead of him.

Rugby players and fans paid tribute to the young player on social media as news emerged of his involvement in the tragedy.

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said on Twitter: 'Deeply saddened to hear of the tragedy in Hillsborough this evening. My thoughts and prayers are with family at this time of devastation.'

He will be missed: Nevin Spence had a bright future ahead of him as a professional rugby player

He will be missed: Nevin Spence had a bright future ahead of him as a professional rugby player

Tributes appeared on Twitter feeds representing both the British and Irish Lions and the RaboDirect Pro12, the league in which Ulster play.

The Lions post read: 'All our thoughts are with the family and friends of Ulster centre Nevin Spence, his father and brother. Reportedly died in accident.'

The post on the Pro12 account read: 'Shocked. We just read about Nevin Spence. RIP. There are no words.'
Spence's erstwhile Ulster team-mate, fly-half Ian Humphreys, wrote: 'Devastated to hear the news about Nevin Spence and his brother and dad. Prayers with all his family… RIP Nev, you'll never be forgotten…'

Former Ireland and Munster hooker Jerry Flannery added: 'Terrible news on Nevin Spence, his Brother and their Dad. Offering up prayers for their family and friends, unbelievably sad.'

Former Wales winger Shane Williams was also among those to pay their respects on the social media site, writing: 'My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Nevin Spence. A tragic loss. A class act on the field also. RIP.'

Lives have been lost in the past in accidents at other farm slurry tanks, but the scale of the latest tragedy caused widespread shock.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said it responded to a 999 call at about 6.15pm following reports that at least three people had fallen into a slurry tank.

It said it immediately sent three rapid response paramedics, four accident and emergency vehicles and an ambulance service doctor to the scene.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service also attended and rescued four people from the slurry pit.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: 'Three were unconscious and NIAS paramedics commenced resuscitation efforts immediately assisted by other ambulance personnel.

Tragedy: Large numbers of emergency service vehicles attended the farm

Tragedy: Large numbers of emergency service vehicles attended the farm

'One of the four showed initial signs of responding to the efforts of the crews and was transported immediately to the nearby Lagan Valley Hospital, where unfortunately he died a short time later.

'Despite the best efforts of all involved the other two men died at the scene.

'A female was treated at the scene and taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital where she is recovering from the effects of fume inhalation.'

The ambulance service said it extended its sympathies to those involved.

The Ulster Farmers' Union said the tragedy had shocked the entire farming community.

UFU president Harry Sinclair said: “On behalf of all our members, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family involved.

'This news has shocked the farming community. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the three men who have so tragically lost their lives.

'We understand that a fourth member of the family has been hospitalised and we pray that they will make a full recovery.'

Tributes also came from notable Northern Irish sportsmen Rory McIlroy and Mark Allen.

McIlroy, golf's world number one, wrote on his Twitter account: “Just heard the tragic news of Nevin Spence and his family. Makes you cherish every day you have on this Earth.'

Snooker star Allen added: 'What a loss for the family and for ulster and Irish rugby!! In shock here!!'

Hillsborough families hope 23-year wait for justice is almost over

Hillsborough families hope 23-year wait for justice is over

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UPDATED:

10:16 GMT, 6 September 2012

The familes of the 96 Liverpool supporters who died at Hillsborough hope to find out the truth about what happened next week when they hear the results of an inquiry by the Hillsborough Independent Panel.

The group, set up in 2010 to look further than ever before into the events of April 15 1989, will deliver a presentation at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral on Wednesday.

The brief of the panel, as reported in the Daily Telegraph, is to bring 'full public disclosure' of all relevant documentation and to report how 'the information adds to public understanding of the tragedy and its aftermath.'

Seeking answers: Liverpool fans are still searching for justice 23 years on

Seeking answers: Liverpool fans are still searching for justice 23 years on

The Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend James Jones, chairs the panel which has spent two years going over thousands of previously unseen documents released by the South Yorkshire Police, emergency services, the coroner and Sheffield City Council.

The hope is that the findings will allow the inquest verdicts of 96 cases of accidental death to be overturned.

Chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, Margaret Aspinall, whose son James died in the tragedy, is optimistic.

She told The Telegraph: 'I have been hopeful in the past and been let down, but I am cautiously optimistic, and I am praying that the real truth of Hillsborough comes out for the fans, the survivors, and most importantly the loved ones.

Findings: The Hillsborough Independent Panel is set to deliver a presentation

Findings: The Hillsborough Independent Panel is set to deliver a presentation

'I am certainly hoping that there will be enough in here to get the original inquest verdicts overturned.

'To have 96 verdicts of accidental death is ridiculous. We knew that from the start.

'I have trust in the independent panel, they have done a good job scrutinising the thousands of papers, and hopefully they have seen enough to say what we have always believed, which is that 23 years ago there was a cover-up.

'I am not afraid to say it. There was a cover-up, and hopefully that will be clear to everyone.'