The rugby world was sent into shock today after it was revealed that Munster and Ireland legend Anthony Foley had passed away overnight in Paris.
The sudden death sent shockwaves around Munster and Ireland, with the southern province’s scheduled Champion Cup opener with Racing 92 called off as a mark of respect.
Tributes have been pouring in from all over the rugby world as we try to come to terms with the sudden news.
President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins said,
“With great sadness that I heard of the sudden death of Anthony Foley, the Munster rugby team’s head coach and one of the great figures of Irish sport in the modern era.
“He was regarded with great respect and deep affection not just among the Munster rugby fans but by all those interested in Irish sports and those with whom they interacted abroad.
“While news of his death will be received with shock by all those in the rugby and sports world, it is of course first and foremost a great tragedy for his family and close friends.
“As President of Ireland, and as Patron of the IRFU, I offer them and Munster rugby my deepest sympathies.”
Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon, said the rugby legend was “a giant among men and a true gentleman. He will be sadly missed”.
Foley’s club Shannon RFC, with whom he played throughout his entire career, tweeted that it was “absolutely devastated to hear of the passing of Anthony Foley. Our thoughts & prayers are with his wife Olive, his children & his family”.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Anthony’s partner, children, family, and friends at this very difficult time.”
Fans have gather outside Thomond Park in the wake of the tragic news, with the Limerick Leader posting these heartwarming photos.