• McBride passed away 24 hours after victory over Drogheda United
• EA Sports Cup matches due for Tuesday all postponed as mark of respect
The League of Ireland was in shock on Monday over the sudden death of the captain of Derry City at the age of 27. Ryan McBride was found dead at his home in Derry on Sunday evening. The cause is unknown. As a mark of respect all first round EA Sports Cup games due to be played on Tuesday have been postponed.
McBride passed away 24 hours after captaining Derry to victory over Drogheda United, the club’s fourth straight league win this season. The previous week McBride scored the winner against Shamrock Rovers and was regarded as one of the most talented players in the league. He came from the Brandywell district of Derry where the club’s ground is based.
Michael D Higgins, the president of Ireland, said: “Along with all those who support Irish football, I express my sadness and condolences to the family of @derrycityfc captain Ryan McBride,” the president of the Republic of Ireland tweeted.
The former Manchester United and Ireland defender Paul McGrath tweeted: “My thoughts are with the family, friends & club mates of Derry City captain Ryan McBride who has passed away. RIP.”
Derry fans wrote on their official Twitter page that McBride was “captain, leader, legend and absolute gentleman”.
Teams from the Republic and Northern Ireland expressed their condolences.
This is the third tragedy to strike Derry over the past 12 months. The striker Mark Farren died of a brain tumour at the age of 33 and another player, Josh Daniels, lost his mother, sister, brother-in-law and two nephews after their car skidded along a pier in Buncrana and plunged into Lough Swilly.
One of McBride’s friends and a former team-mate, the Ireland and West Bromwich Albion winger James McClean, wrote on Instagram. “We lost someone I had the privilege to play alongside but also got on well with off the field. A warrior who would throw his body on the line when he pulled on that Derry City jersey, a club that meant so much to him, but more importantly a big gentleman off the field.”
The Football Association of Ireland will pay tribute to McBride before the Republic’s World Cup qualifier against Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Friday.
John Delaney, the FAI’s chief executive, said Irish football was “in mourning with the loss of a true giant of the game”. McBride made over 100 league appearances for Derry. He made his debut in 2011 and was part of the team who won the FAI Cup a year later.
Derry had been due to play Limerick in a rescheduled Premier League home match on Tuesday but along with the round of Cup games, the match has been postponed, with rescheduled dates to be announced.