Football | 4 months ago

Irish football remains in shock on Monday morning.

On Sunday night, the devastating news filtered through that Derry City defender and captain Ryan McBride had died suddenly at home.

The 27-year-old had led Derry to a 4-0 win over Drogheda on Saturday but was found dead just a day later at home in Derry.

Phil O'Doherty, chairman of Derry City, spoke of his devastation to the BBC.

"This news is so hard to take in," he said. "He started the season so well and scored a really important goal against Shamrock Rovers recently.

"The players and management staff are in shock and it's an extremely tough time for everyone. "

President Michael D. Higgins also paid tribute to McBride, saying: "Along with all those who support Irish football, I express my sadness and condolences to the family of Derry captain Ryan McBride."

O'Doherty added that McBride - who lived so close to the Brandywell that he would walk home after games - was the club's "ideal captain".

"He was incredibly respected. He was an ideal captain. He was from the Brandywell area and he just walked across the road to his home after every game."

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Dessie Scallion of BBC Radio Foyle spoke about McBride's influence on his team-mates and his gentle manner off the field.

"He was described in may quarters as a warrior on the field and a gentlemen off it," he told RTÉ.

"He was a very quiet, unassuming guy off the field but on the field of play, no quarter was asked or given.  He was captain of the club for one reason - he led on the field - he was a leader of men.

"There is complete mourning in the city.

"He had a tremendous start to the season. He scored the winning goal against Shamrock Rovers ten days ago. He scored and decisive goal in the 3-1 win over Dundalk last Monday. He led the team out and played his part in the 4-0 win over Drogheda on Saturday. "

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