Happier times - Anthony Foley pictured with his wife, Olive
THE family of Munster head coach Anthony Foley have said their anguish following his sudden death in Paris at the weekend is "bottomless".
In a statement issued this lunchtime, the family have extended their deepest appreciation to the “endless legions of friends and the wider rugby family here and abroad for the huge outpouring of support and sympathy” since his death was announced on Sunday afternoon.
“With Anthony’s passing, we have ultimately lost an amazing, adoring and loving father and husband; an equally caring, loyal and devoted son and brother; a central and go-to figure for the wider Foley and Hogan families.
"Our anguish at the sudden loss of Anthony is bottomless. We have been plunged deep into an incomprehensible darkness and sense of loss that we must work our way through over the coming days, weeks, months and years,” reads the statement.
The family says they are aware the death of Anthony has brought the rugby worlds of Shannon RFC, Munster, Ireland and much further afield “crashing down”, adding they will mourn his loss together.
"You have lost a former player, coach, friend and all-round inspiration – your and our hero both. We mourn his loss together.
"We again wish to thank everyone for their support; it will help carry us through these darkest days."
The family of the 42-year-old, who would have turned 43 in two weeks, have appealed for privacy and have asked that the wishes of the wider community be respected also.
The statement adds that, due to Foley's passing having occurred in Paris, funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised.