Saturday 22 July 2017

'Great player, even better man' - James McClean leads tributes to Mark Farren (33) as former Derry striker loses cancer battle

Mark Farren had been battling a life-threatening condition for six years after being diagnosed with a brain tumour that halted his football career
Mark Farren had been battling a life-threatening condition for six years after being diagnosed with a brain tumour that halted his football career
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

Former Derry City and Finn Harps player Mark Farren has passed away this morning after losing his six-year battle with a brain tumour.

The striker retired from football in 2010 when a benign brain tumour was discovered, but returned the following year following successful surgery and continued on the goal trail as he surpassed Liam Coyle to become Derry City’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Unfortunately he was diagnosed with having a grade four brain tumour last year and underwent a huge fundraising campaign to help him undergo revolutionary treatment in Mexico.

When Farren’s family made the difficult decision to go public on the severity of his plight, they set a ballpark figure of €30,000 as a target to pay for his treatment. A remarkable reaction from the football world meant that they quickly moved past that conservative estimate.

There has been an outpouring of grief following today's sad announcement.

Republic of Ireland international and former Derry City team-mate James McClean led the tribute to the deceased Farren.

"Gutted to hear news of the death of my former teammate Mark Farren, great player, even better man, prayers are with his family, RIP buddy," the West Brom midfielder tweeted.

"Heartbreaking that @derrycityfc #legend Mark Farren has died.A great footballer & gentleman.My thoughts with Terri- Louise & their families," Martin McGuinness posted on his Twitter account.

Irish striker Paddy Madden, currently with Scunthorpe United, wrote: "RIP Mark Farren - loved watching him play for Derry city and scoring goals, what a player."

Derry fans, opposition fans and the general public all offered their condolences..

"Terrible news about Mark Farren. Was always a player I found impossible to dislike no matter how many times he scored against us," read one message on Twitter.

"We are all shocked & saddened to hear about the passing of Mark Farren deepest condolences to his family & many friends may he rest in peace," wrote the Finn Harp's official account.

"Devastated at passing of @derrycityfc great Mark Farren. Inspired us all through his brilliance on the pitch and bravery off it. RIP," wrote another member of the public.

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