herald

Tuesday 25 April 2017

'Ryan bought me a pint on my first night in Derry' - Kavanagh

Patrick Kavanagh
Patrick Kavanagh

Hostility, rivalry and petty squabbles.

All the normal traits of the League of Ireland, or any league, have been put to one side in recent days as the community tries to cope with the loss off Ryan McBride, who was buried in his native city of Derry yesterday.

Dubliner Patrick Kavanagh wore the tracksuit of his current club, Bohemians, when he attended McBride's funeral but he went there as a friend and a former team-mate. And Kavanagh knows that the weekend league of Ireland programme is almost an irrelevance.

"I was in utter shock when the news came through on Sunday. You are numb, I had only been talking to Ryan a few weeks earlier when we played against Derry. And I just can't believe that I will never talk to him again," says Kavanagh, who played with McBride for City in the 2013 season.

"Myself, our captain Derek Pender and some other players from the club were there, players from across the league. Nearly every team in the league has a player who would have played with Ryan and we are all stunned.

"The league was well-represented yesterday and that's a testament to the kind of lad Ryan was.

"There are games on in the league tomorrow but I honestly don't know how any of us will feel about playing football now. We had a minute's silence for Ryan in training the other day but it was really hard to train normally after that. Football is on the back-burner." Dubliner Kavanagh was an import into Derry when he arrived in 2013 but he was made instantly welcome.

"The night I signed for Derry, they were still celebrating the FAI Cup win, I went for dinner with Ruaidhri Higgins and Patrick McEleney, then we went for a drink where we met Ryan, he bought me a pint, my first up there, and said 'Welcome to Derry'," he said.

"That's how he was. I'll miss him."

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