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Thursday 8 December 2016

Rugby hero Foley died of fluid in his lungs after heart disease

May Kiely Ford pays tribute to Anthony Foley Picture: Brian Gavin
May Kiely Ford pays tribute to Anthony Foley Picture: Brian Gavin

Rugby legend and Munster head coach Anthony Foley died as a result of acute pulmonary edema caused by heart disease, a French coroner has said.

The prosecutor of Nanterre, who carried out the investigation to determine the cause of Foley's death, said that a problem with cardiac arrhythmia led to an acute edema of the lungs.

The 42-year-old father-of-two died ahead of his team's match against Racing 92 in Paris on Sunday.

The report said Foley "presented with a cardiac rhythm disorder that resulted in an acute edema of the lungs".

The prosecutor added that his death could have been linked to a "cardiac problem".

Other tests, such as toxicology analysis, are still being conducted. Those results are expected to be known in the coming weeks.

The prosecutor is understood to have issued a burial permit following the conclusion of the post mortem.

Foley's remains will be flown to Shannon Airport today and will then be taken to his family home in Killaloe, Co Clare.

His funeral will take place at 12pm on Friday at St Flannan's Church, and is reserved for family and friends only.

It was confirmed yesterday that the Munster team will forge ahead with their Champions Cup match against Glasgow Warriors on Saturday.

Fans said they hope it will bring Limerick "to a standstill" as the ultimate tribute.

In the face of their grief, the Munster squad gathered in private at the High Performance Centre at the University of Limerick to prepare for the weekend.

Munster Rugby said the team was following a "modified schedule" this week, with players and management signing books of condolence in memory of their colleague and friend.

Priority

They said the thoughts of the players, management and staff remain with the Foley and Hogan families, and helping them at this time is the priority.

Thomond Park has become a moving and deeply emotional shrine of grief and solidarity with the families. One of the jerseys attached to the railings was said to have been put there by the Munster squad themselves and a message written on the front read: "RIP Anthony Axel Foley. Thanks for making our dreams a reality. We love you."

All day long, the faithful continued to arrive to express their sorrow for one who had given them so many good days.

Among them was Donal Mulcahy, the publican of the famous Rashers bar in Limerick city, who described Foley as "a great player, a fantastic player".

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