Derry Journal's back page publishes Kenny Shiels' heartbreaking poem to Ryan McBride 6 years ago

Derry Journal's back page publishes Kenny Shiels' heartbreaking poem to Ryan McBride

Thursday in Derry was as sad as it was powerful. It was as heartening as it was heartbreaking.

In such a tight-knit community that is the town they all love so well, tragedies are felt there like an earthquake through the place.


There will be nothing else talked about all week but the passing of two icons from a great town and the visit of some of the world's most famous leaders descending on the Bogside. The kind words, the pain, the togetherness.

At 10 o'clock on Thursday morning, the church at Long Tower had overflowed into its yard and out onto the street as mourners stood to bid farewell to the captain of Derry City Football Club, Ryan McBride.


At 27 years of age, the hurt and sadness was almost unbearable at times with people of all ages, interests and backgrounds holding onto each other to try and summon any way of getting through this dreadful morning.

Outside, young kids were being prepared to form a guard of honour that would see McBride lifted through from St. Columba's and on to his final resting place. The jerseys had all different names and numbers on them, each of them readying to make their own footprints on the world and everyone here hoping they'd get way more than just 27 years to do it.


Then, Kenny Shiels was invited to the altar. The manager had prepared his own tribute from Derry City to Ryan McBride and it was something special.

Even before he said a word, you could hear how difficult this was for him - of course it was. He recited a poem for the legendary number 5, somehow finding the courage and strength to get through the whole thing. Inside the church, on the seats, along the walls and outside, tears were dripping before an applause broke out to thank the county Derry man for what was a truly moving moment deserving of such a great man.

Friday's Derry Journal captured the touching moment beautifully with a simple and poignant back page dedicated to Ryan McBride - a man who will never be forgotten. They ran the poem read out by Shiels and every word of it has emotion and love hanging from it.


Given the occasion, the north west newspaper ran a special edition to mark the sadness but pride felt in Derry on Thursday.