Derry soccer skipper Ryan Mcbride dies at 27

Ryan McBride Derry City League of Ireland

Friends and football fans, many wearing the red and white of the Candystripes, applauded as the 27-year-old, who died suddenly on Sunday, was brought back to his native Brandywell.

Former close teammate and Republic of Ireland global James McClean said he was a warrior who would throw his body on the line.

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, speaking at a press conference, said it was a "tragic event".

Late on Sunday night, James McClean joined the chorus of those mourning the death of McBride.

- Sarah Mitchell (@LimerickMitch)Absolutely devastating news.

O'Neill's comments were echoed by Ireland striker Jonathan Walters and defender John Egan.

"Such shocking news to get", said Kelly. To hear that a young man in his prime has passed away is very sad.

Requiem Mass will be celebrated at St Columb's Church, Long Tower, at 10am on Thursday, followed by burial at Derry city cemetery. "I would like to express my honest condolences to his family and friends at this very hard time".

President Higgins tweeted: "Along with all those who support Irish football, I express my sadness and condolences to the family of Derry City FC Captain Ryan McBride".

The Twitter account for the Irish Football Association confirmed the news last night.

'On behalf of the FAI Board and everyone in the Association, I would like to offer our sympathies to all who were blessed to have known Ryan.

- Celtic Football Club (@celticfc) March 20, 2017The flags at FAI Headquarters flying at half mast as a mark of respect to Ryan McBride.

A special tribute to McBride will be made at the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Wales in Dublin on Friday. An absolute warrior on the pitch.

Ryan leaves his father Lexie, sisters Colleen, Siunin and Caitlain and partner Mairead. In a statement, Derry City said everyone would miss his leadership.

Our supporters are also shocked and saddened.

McBride led Derry City from the defence this season, and his influence was there for all to see, as the team won their opening four matches.

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