Derry City's touching tribute to Ryan McBride would break your heart, then make it soar
Derry City manager Kenny Shiels has penned a heartbreaking Ryan McBride tribute in the programme for his team's first match back.
This Sunday will mark a fortnight since Derry, the football team and the city, lost a true leader in McBride.
The Candystripes' captain passed away on Sunday, March 19 after being found in the bedroom of his home the day after he led his side to a 4-0 victory.
Derry City had their Airtricity League fixture postponed, last week, as the entire region tried to take in what had happened and pay tribute to a dearly loved son of the city.
This evening, ahead of their first game since McBride's passing, Derry have produced a wonderful match programme in his honour and featuring touching recollections of a player, and a man, that meant so much to so many.
CityView has a lovely feature written by Derry boss Kenny Shiels. In it he pays tribute to Bray Wanderers, their opponents, for their touching gesture of putting McBride on the cover of their match programme last weekend. He writes:
'We've been in training all week and while it certainly has been difficult, I think the boys are ready to get back to action here tonight and hopefully we can do Ryan proud and finish the job we started with him.'
The programme also features Shiel's touching poem 'In Your Absence', which is dedicated to Derry's inspirational captain and leader. The poem first featured in The Derry Journal ahead of McBride's funeral service:
Today's Derry Journal back page #RyanMcBride #derrycityfc pic.twitter.com/1WAU4TSsPP
— Derry Journal (@derryjournal) March 24, 2017
While all of the features, pictures and fond recollections of McBride would test your heart's resolve, some of the stories about a local lad that did so well and never departed from that humble spirit of his would really lift your spirits.
If you are interested in downloading a digital copy of the match programme, you can simply do so here.