James McClean has added to the vast quantity of tributes to the late Derry City captain Ryan McBride.
Irish football was shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden loss of the defender, who passed away on Sunday mere hours after playing in the Candystripes’ 4-0 win against Drogheda United the previous day.
James McClean, who briefly played with McBride at the Brandywell before his move to Sunderland in 2011, took to Instagram to pay his respect to the 27-year-old, in particular focusing on his bravery and his loyalty to his club:
Tonight we lost someone i had the privilege to play along aside but also got on well with of the field, a warrior that literally would throw his body on the line when he pulled on that Derry City jersey, a club that meant so much to him, but more importantly a big gentleman of the field.. sleep tight big man may god bless you and your family 😔🔴⚪️ #5 #townilovedsowell
“Tonight we lost someone i had the privilege to play along aside but also got on well with of the field, a warrior that literally would throw his body on the line when he pulled on that Derry City jersey, a club that meant so much to him, but more importantly a big gentleman of the field.. sleep tight big man may god bless you and your family 😔🔴⚪️ #5 #townilovedsowell”
McClean has been given leave from the Ireland national setup to attend McBride’s funeral later this week.
Derry released a statement on Monday afternoon expressing the loss that they as a club and as a community are feeling with Ryan’s passing.
“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.”
Meanwhile, the FAI have confirmed that the EA Sports Cup matches that were due take place this week have been postponed, as has the planned League of Ireland Premier Division match between Derry City and Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park.