Ferry City officials and supporters expressed shock on Sunday evening in reation to the news that the club’s captain, Ryan McBride, had died suddenly at home.
The 27 year-old had played twice for the club this week, in the wins against Dundalk and Drogheda United, but had been said to have felt unwell during and after the games .
Nevertheless, his death was completely unexpected and crowds are reported to have gathered at his family home in Bluebell Hill Gardens as news of it spread.
McBride was a popular figure regarded as a good choice for club captain and when re-signing him for the new season a few months ago, Shiels observed: “Ryan’s a player we feel is not only the captain of the team but is influential and leads by example.”
There were many tributes paid to him on social media with players from around the league as well as other clubs offering their condolences to his family and friends. Northern Ireland international Daniel Lafferty, a former teammate at Derry City, said he was “devastated” to hear the news and the club itself tweeted a portrait of the player with the simple caption: “Captain Fantastic”.
It is not the first time that City has endured such sadness in its recent past with former striker Mark Farren passing away in February last year after a long battle with cancer. Derry had been due to play a rescheduled game against Limerick on Tuesday evening.