A 30-YEAR-OLD MAN appeared in Newtownards Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with the murder of David Mills.
John Stanley Foster is from the Carrigvale area of Dundrum and understood to be a cousin by marriage of the victim.
Foster was remanded in custody and spoke at the hearing only to confirm he understood the charge.
No application for bail was made and Foster is due to appear in Downpatrick court via video link later this month.
The attack on Mr Mills took place during the early hours of Sunday in Ballynahinch’s Dromore Street.
The 47-year-old, who spent seven seasons at Portadown Football Club during his Irish League playing career, was taken to hospital in a critical condition.
He subsequently died from his injuries.
A painter-decorator by trade, the Dundrum father-of-two was respected for his sporting achievements and enjoyed football, cricket, golf and darts.
Mr Mills was attacked outside a fast-food takeaway after celebrations in a Ballynahinch bar on Sunday with colleagues from Drumaness Cricket Club.
The keen sportsman was drafted in to help Drumaness avoid relegation out of Section Two and played his part in the crucial win alongside brother Alan.
The Mills name has a long-standing connection to cricket and deepest sympathies were extended this week to the family circle by the Portadown and Laurelvale clubs.
“I am sure Davy played a few times down the years against Portadown and he was certainly a familiar figure at games,” said George Hamill on behalf of Portadown Cricket Club. “His brother, Alan, was a real backbone of the Drumaness club and you would often see Davy watching him play.
“I also recall Davy turning up at his local club, Dundrum, for Portadown games and he obviously had a real love of sport.”
His Irish League career - with Glentoran, Portadown and Lisburn Distillery - - arrived in the middle of a lifetime in football that started and ended at club level on the books of Drumaness Mills, including a spell as manager.
He is survived by his children Kelly and Ethan, mother Gwen and brother Alan.