Tributes are paid to Midge (48)

TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular Banbridge man who died suddenly at the weekend.

Rodney Andrew Hylands, known as Midge, was well-known around the town. The 48-year-old father to Mark and Rachel and husband of Linda, is understood to have been found in Newry Street at 3.15am on Saturday.

Police, who confirmed that Mr Hylands’ death was not being treated as suspicious, said they received a report of a man requiring assistance and an ambulance took the man to hospital but he died later.

Mr Hylands’ body is believed to have been returned to family at his home at Hillhead in Banbridge yesterday (Monday) and will leave the home at 1pm for his funeral tomorrow at Holy Trinity Church.

Mr Hylands, who previously worked at Ferguson’s Linen factory on the Lurgan Road, was known in darts circles in the area, having played at Higgins’ pub in Scarva Street for the past 10 years. He also enjoyed fishing and travelling with friends to play golf at various locations.

Friend Adrian Higgins said Midge had been looking forward to the new darts season next year. “I was speaking to him Friday week ago and he said he would be making a comeback,” said Adrian, manager of Higgins’ bar. “He will be missed. It is very sad. He was well-liked and well-known by the boys in here.”

Another good friend Gerald Clydesdale said Midge will be missed. “He was a nice lad, and would have been very well-known throughout the town,” said Gerald. “He was one of the best.”