Shock as Derry City skipper Ryan McBride (27) dies
A team-mate of tragic footballer Ryan McBride has described him as "a captain, a leader and an absolute gentleman".
Mikhail Kennedy paid tribute to his Derry City FC skipper last night as news of his sudden death at the age of 27 emerged.
"This world just doesn't make sense. You'll be sorely missed. RIP Ryan McBride," he wrote.
Derry man McBride, who began playing for City in 2011 and starred for them alongside current Republic of Ireland star James McClean, had played in all four games for City this season, most recently Saturday's 4-0 win over Drogheda United.
It is understood he died at his home after going for a lie-down because he was feeling unwell. He was later found by a family member. The cause of death is not known.
McBride was a popular member of the Derry side, having spent his entire senior career with the club. He was in the side that won the FAI Cup in 2012.
Crowds of Derry supporters gathered outside his home at Bluebell Hill Gardens, close to the Brandywell Stadium.
McBride's former manager at Derry, current Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny, and former team-mate McClean were at RTE in Dublin attending the FAI International awards when news came through.
Last Monday, Derry City boss Kenny Shiels praised the player's bravery after playing through a flu bug to help inspire them to a win over league champions Dundalk, with McBride scoring a late goal.
McClean was a friend of McBride as they came through the ranks at the same time.
Derry were due to play at home to Limerick in a re-arranged Premier Division game tomorrow night, but it is almost certain it will not go ahead.
Tributes poured in from around the Irish football community with players, ex-players, and clubs offering condolences.
Drogheda United offered their "deepest condolences to Derry City on the sudden passing of their captain Ryan McBride. RIP".
Officials of Dundalk, Shelbourne FC, Cork City and Cobh Ramblers also tweeted their condolences.
Former Irish international and TV pundit Richie Sadlier said: "Desperately sad news about Ryan McBride. Thoughts with his family and friends."
"I've just heard about Ryan Mcbride. An absolute warrior on the pitch. Thoughts are with his family," wrote Galway United midfielder Gavan Holohan.