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Dancing on Ice stars have paid tribute to Sean Rice following the news of his death.
The professional ice skater appeared on the hit ITV reality series in 2011 and 2012.
Rice died aged 49 on 14 January, according to friends. No cause of death has been disclosed.
Frankie Poultney, a close friend of Rice and a fellow skater, announced his death on Twitter over the weekend.
“Pro skaters are heartbroken today, we lost a true larger than life great,” wrote Poultney, who called Rice “an epic skater, a husband, father, and my friend of 20 years”.
Pro skaters are heartbroken today, we lost a true larger than life great - an epic skater, a husband, father, and my friend of 20yrs - Sean Rice, 20/07/72 - 14/01/22 gone too soon but we will Love You For A Thousand Years - all our thoughts are with Signey & Jodeyne 💔💔 pic.twitter.com/MdNQzrjSXX
— Frankie (@FrankieSk8) January 15, 2022
She continued: “Sean Rice, 20/07/72 – 14/01/22 gone too soon, but we will Love You For A Thousand Years. All our thoughts are with Signey and Jodeyne.”
Rice is survived by his wife Jodeyne Higgins and their daughter Signey.
During his time on Dancing on Ice, Rice danced with news presenter Angela Rippon and alpine ski racer Chemmy Alcott.
Have just heard the tragic news that Sean Rice, my partner from DOI has passed away. The world will miss your amazing energy and you healing hands. All my love to J and S. x pic.twitter.com/zgNe9URcIB
— Chemmy Alcott OLY (@ChemmySki) January 16, 2022
Alcott responded to the news on Twitter, writing: “Have just heard the tragic news that Sean Rice, my partner from DOI, has passed away.
“The world will miss your amazing energy and your healing hands. All my love to J and S.”
Professional skater Matt Evers – who is partnered with Coronation Street star Sally Dynevor this year – paid tribute to Rice on social media.
One of the best… thank you Sean for your gift. This routine from The Professionals on Ice was incredible. It was a pleasure to know and work with you… 💔 https://t.co/cTHlDvNcsE
— Matt Evers (@TheMattEvers) January 16, 2022
Evers shared a clip of a routine by Rice, accompanied by the caption: “This routine from The Professionals was incredible. It was a pleasure to know and work with you.”
A crowdfunding page has been started in Rice’s name. The page asks “everyone to pour prayers and love over Jodey and Signey during this very difficult time”.
“So many people have reached out asking how they can help and so we have set up this Go Fund Me account to support Jodeyne and Signey at this time. Let’s take care of them the way Sean always took care of others,” the page reads.