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Dublin: 15 °C Monday 1 September, 2014

Aston Villa plan minute’s applause for Irish fan who died in hit-and-run

The Premier League club will pay their respects to Kildare man Jody O’Reilly on St Stephen’s Day.

Jody O'Reilly.
Jody O'Reilly.
Image: @Kelzjp via Twitter

A YOUNG IRISH man who was killed in a hit-and-run will be remembered at Aston Villa’s next home game.

Jody O’Reilly, a 22-year-old Kildare native who moved to the UK to study PE at the University of Wolverhampton, was planning to attend Aston Villa’s meeting with Manchester United on 15 December but died after being hit by a car early that day.

Friends of Jody began a campaign in which they asked the club to honour him and Villa have promised to oblige when they host Crystal Palace on St Stephen’s Day.

Although they had originally asked for a minute’s silence, the club will make it an applause instead.

“The Club extends its sincerest condolences to the O’Reilly family and to Jody’s many friends following this tragic loss of life in the hours leading up to our game against Manchester United,” a statement released by the club reads.

Jody had tickets for the game and in the three years since he first came over from Ireland – having selected his university course in 2010 so he could be as close as possible to Villa Park – he had become a regular attender at Villa games.

“We will be holding a minute’s applause prior to kick-off against Crystal Palace on Boxing Day in respect of his passing and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”

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