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Keane pays respects to Ireland fan

June 25, 2012 • News, Sport,

Robbie Keane pays tribute to James Nolan, after scoring for LA Galaxy.

Ireland captain Robbie Keane has paid tribute to James Nolan, an Irish fan who drowned in Poland.

James Nolan, 21, from Blessington, Co Wicklow, drowned after falling into a river in the northern city of Bydgoszcz.

He was in the country to support Ireland at Euro 2012.

Mr Nolan’s body was recovered on Wednesday, four days after he went missing.

A post-mortem examination carried out in Poland found no physical injuries and indicated death by drowning.

Keane returned to action for LA Galaxy on Saturday night and after scoring near the half-hour mark he ran to the sideline to hold up a jersey with ‘RIP James Nolan’ printed on the back.

“It was for a young fan who went to Poland, 21 years of age, he drowned. It was very, very sad,” said Keane after the game.

“I called his father today to send my condolences, send my thoughts to him and his family.

“Irish people are very close and stick to each other through good times and bad times. He was a big soccer fan and it was a shame, it was just a bit of respect really. I may give (the) shirt to his father, if he wants it.”

:: Removal in Blessington

Yesterday, crowds lined the streets for the procession of Mr Nolan’s coffin to the Church of Our Lady in Blessington, Co Wicklow.

Friends and strangers wore Irish jerseys in tribute to Mr Nolan, who died while on a trip to Poland to support Ireland in the Euro 2012 competition.

Tricolour bunting and flags hung over the streets as Mr Nolan’s family and friends shouldered the coffin to the church.

His father Jimmy was among those carrying the casket, while his mother Essie followed closely behind.

The funeral Mass will take place at the church at 11am today, Irish time.

With PA

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