Tears as Derry captain McBride mourned
Derry City captain Ryan McBride was an "inspirational" role model who had so much more still to give, mourners at his funeral were told.
President Michael D Higgins was among the 3,000 gathered at St Columba's Church in Derry to pay their final respects to the 27-year-old.
Mr McBride, a fans' hero with his hometown club, passed away on Sunday night. His death sent shockwaves throughout the footballing fraternity across Derry, Ireland and beyond.
Mr McBride's team-mates carried his coffin, draped in his number five football shirt, into the packed church as his father Lexie, partner Mairead, and sisters Colleen, Siuinin and Caitlin looked on.
Bishop of Derry Donal McKeown, along with a number of priests from across the city, celebrated Requiem Mass, where the chief celebrant was Fr Aidan Mullan.
In his homily, Fr Mullan, the parish priest of St Columba's, asked the congregation to reflect on the courage and bravery of McBride which made him a role model.
He said: "The club management, the team and the supporters all have been caught up in his natural footballing ability, in his courageous play. As has been said many times, Ryan would put his head where other players would not put their boot. He was brave and he knew no fear. As captain he was an inspirational leader in the dressing room and on the field of play."
Ryan made his debut for Derry City aged 21, and played more than 100 league matches. Derry City boss Kenny Shiels paid a tearful final tribute, reading a specially written poem which drew applause.