Hundreds line streets of Derry as teammates carry Ryan McBride's coffin home
Mourners applauded this evening as Derry City club captain Ryan McBride was carried home by his teammates.
Hundreds of friends and Derry City FC supporters lined the streets as McBride, 27, who died suddenly at home on Sunday night, was borne amid a wave of grief to his native Brandywell.
Children and their parents wearing the red and white of the Candystripes stood in respectful silence.
Former close teammate and Republic of Ireland international James McClean said he was a warrior who would throw his body on the line.
Former Liverpool strikers Robbie Fowler and Stan Collymore and president Michael D. Higgins were among others expressing their condolences.
The fans' favourite lived in a terrace house beside his club's Brandywell ground, where he played since 2011.
His club said he would be remembered by teammates and supporters as one of the greats.
"They are deeply shocked and will miss his inspiration and his leadership."
His manager Kenny Shiels added: "Ryan never gave 99%."
A Derry City number 5 shirt was pinned outside the Brandywell gate in tribute. His image was painted as street art onto a nearby wall.
He leaves his "heartbroken" father Lexie, sisters Colleen, Siunin and Caitlain and partner Mairead. His mother Noreen died some time ago.
His last match was a 4-0 triumph over Drogheda United in the League of Ireland Premier Division on Saturday.
McBride was a firm favourite with fans, thanks in part to his committed style of defending. He played more than 100 league matches for Derry.
The club's league game against Limerick on Tuesday has been postponed.
League officials said: "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."
This is the second tragedy to strike the team in just over a year.
Ex-Derry City and Glenavon striker Mark Farren died aged 33 in February 2016. Derry's record goalscorer had been receiving treatment for an aggressive brain tumour.
A year ago, Derry player Josh Daniels lost his mother, sister, brother-in-law and nephews in the Buncrana pier tragedy. A car slid off the pier and entered Lough Swilly.
FAI chief exuctive John Delaney said Irish football was in mourning after losing a "true great of the game".
A special tribute to McBride will be made at the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Wales in Dublin on Friday.