Derry City release beautiful statement in honour of Ryan McBride
Ryan McBride's presence in Derry will extend way beyond the short lifetime he was given.
The football world of Ireland woke up on Monday morning still disbelieving the news that one of its toughest patrons had been taken suddenly.
Amidst the sadness, the shock and the anger even, stories are being told of the Trojan Ryan McBride.
In the office this morning, a Donegal man recalls with horror how the Derry City captain once showed him up at the Brandywell in the Eircom Under-20 League many moons ago.
"I played against him a couple of times but the f**ker nutmegged me one day up there. From centre back and all."
You could see the embarrassment still on his face. Many would've felt something similar - perhaps dread - when they remembered their own encounters with the Candy Stripes warrior.
It's been a horrible few years for Derry City.
The loss of club legend Mark Farren still stings and will for a long, long time. The devastation felt across the whole town at young Josh Daniels' horrific family tragedy last year was immeasurable. And now Ryan McBride, 27 years of age, in the prime of his life and leading a revolution in Derry.
It's hard to comprehend. It's hard to accept.
With the wounds fresh and deeper than ever, the club have put together a quite beautiful statement on behalf of everyone associated with Derry City. It is a heartbreaking read but it's lovely at the same time.
'Derry City Football Club is deeply saddened by the untimely death of our captain, Ryan Mc Bride. Our prayers and thoughts are with his father, Lexie, his sisters Colleen, Siuinin and Caitlain, and his partner Mairead who are heartbroken at his loss. We are also conscious of his teammates and our management and support staff. Ryan was a player and a great captain but he was also their friend and teammate. They are deeply shocked and will miss his inspiration and his leadership.
'Our supporters are also shocked and saddened. To them, Ryan was Derry City through and through. The commitment and passion he brought on to the field is the bond that binds player and supporter.
'In the hearts and minds of all of us and long into the future Ryan McBride will be remembered as one of the greats of Derry City Football Club.
'We are also conscious that this is the anniversary of the death of the members of the McGrotty and Daniels family in Buncrana and it is only a short time since we remembered Mark Farren’s death.
'It is at times like this that we are reminded that our Club is also a community of people. As in the past, that community will come together to comfort and support Ryan’s family.
'In the coming days and weeks we will grieve the loss of our captain and our friend. Sometime in the future, when we have got past the initial shock and have had the proper space to grieve his loss, we will find a way to celebrate his life. We will remember his civility and humility off the field, his commitment and passion on it and the deep love he carried in his heart for Derry City Football Club.
'Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.'