Footballer Mark Farren to be laid to rest beside his triplets who died soon after their birth
Tragic former Derry City footballer Mark Farren, who lost his battle with cancer, will be laid to rest beside his three children, triplets who died soon after their birth.
Mr Farren (33), from Moville, Co Donegal, was Derry City FC's record goalscorer and, in 2005, was named League of Ireland Player of the Year.
He was diagnosed with a brain tumour on Christmas Eve in 2008 when he was playing for Derry City.
After a year out to undergo treatment, he returned to the pitch with high hopes that he would remain cancer free.
However, in 2015 he was diagnosed with a grade-four brain tumour and his condition deteriorated to such an extent that radical treatment only available in Mexico was seen as his last hope.
Mr Farren and his wife Terri travelled to Mexico thanks to a huge fundraising campaign and returned home to Donegal at the end of the summer. However, his condition worsened over the following months and yesterday news broke that Mr Farren had lost his battle with cancer and died with his wife and family by his side.
His funeral Mass will be held in St Mary's Church, Ballybrack, Co Donegal, tomorrow, and he will be laid to rest beside his children - Terri, Marlie and Millie - who tragically died in 2014 shortly after their premature birth.
Tributes have flooded in for the popular footballer who was described as "a real gentleman".
FAI chief executive John Delaney said: "Mark's sad passing is a devastating blow to everybody in Irish football. He was not only a tremendous talent, but a real gentleman, who was widely respected in the League and very popular with his team-mates throughout his years in the game."
Among Mark's team mates at Derry City was James McClean, now a Republic of Ireland player. He said: "Devastated at the passing of, not only a great player, but an even better man.
"Couldn't have come across a more gentle man. The help this man gave me when I started at Derry as a youngster is something I will always be thankful for and never forget. Thoughts and prayers are with Terri and all his family that they find the strength needed."