Ahead of Friday’s fixture at Kingspan Stadium, the Ulster Rugby has officially dedicated the Memorial Stand in honour of Nevin Spence.
To mark the 10-year anniversary since the tragic passing of Nevin Spence, Ulster Rugby confirmed its plans to dedicate the Memorial Stand in his honour earlier this season – with the official renaming now having taken place ahead of what would have been Nevin’s 33rd birthday on 26 April.
New branding, which features the former player’s signature, for the Nevin Spence Memorial Stand will be on display for the first time for supporters attending this weekend’s game.
Emma Spence, who sadly lost her father, Noel, and brothers, Nevin and Graham, in an accident on 15 September 2012, said of the club’s tribute:
“When we lost Nevin, Ulster Rugby said he would never be forgotten, and the club has been very true to their word. From teammates he played with, coaches, physios, and staff to supporters from near and far, the warm-hearted and unconditional support has been a real lifeline to our family. There are very few words that can express the genuine gratitude we feel at Nevin being given the honour of having the Nevin Spence Memorial Stand named after him. Nevin lives on when his name is spoken, and now through the stand that will happen.
“The stadium was like a second home to Nevin when he played for Ulster. Now his signature is on the stand, and that is significant. Handwriting is very personal, and a signature is unique, and unique is a word that sums up Nevin. There will never be another Nevin.”
Friend and teammate, Luke Marshall, hopes the stand will be a lasting legacy for Nevin:
“The Nevin Spence Memorial Stand will keep Nevin’s memory alive in the years to come. Fans will come to Kingspan Stadium and know who he was because of the stand, and will share memories together of his playing days.”
Ulster Rugby CEO, Jonny Petrie, added that Nevin had a significant impact on the game during his career, which is important for the club to recognise:
“We want to keep the memory alive of Nevin, Noel and Graham at Ulster Rugby, as Nevin left a big impression on both the domestic and professional game in the province.
“It is important for us as a club to be able to do something physical here in the stadium for players, coaches, staff, and supporters, as well as the Spence family. It is the right thing that the stand will now be known as the Nevin Spence Memorial Stand.
“The Nevin Spence Centre has had thousands of visitors since it first opened in 2015 and, following the tenth anniversary of Nevin’s passing, we want to elevate his name through the stand, and take the next step in how we remember him.”