Ryan McBride's coffin carried home

Northern Ireland

UK NEWS / Northern Ireland 21 Views comments

Ryan McBride's coffin, draped with his number five shirt, is carried to his home in the Brandywell area

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill has led the tributes to Derry City captain Ryan McBride, who has died at the age of 27.

Defender McBride was found dead at home on Sunday, a day after he led his side in a 4-0 League of Ireland win over Drogheda United.

The cause of death is not yet known but a post mortem is being carried out.

"He epitomised everything about our club and our city," said Derry City chief executive Sean Barrett.

McBride's funeral will take place on Thursday at 10:00 GMT at St Columba's Church in Derry, after which the player will be buried in the city cemetery.

The league game between Derry City and Limerick, due to take place on 21 March, will be rescheduled.

McBride's death is the latest tragedy to befall the club following the death of striker Mark Farren and the Buncrana pier tragedy, which claimed the lives of members of winger Josh Daniels a year ago.

'He led boys to become men'

Northern Ireland manager O'Neill was manager of League of Ireland Premier Division side Shamrock Rovers when McBride joined Derry six years ago.

"When I first saw him play, I remember thinking, 'what a fantastic young defender'. He was strong, physical and hugely committed.

"His leadership qualities were evident even at such a young age and it was no surprise to me that he became such an inspirational player for his hometown club."

Ryan McBride: 'A perfect example to any young player'

Derry City manager Kenny Shiels said the death was "hard for everybody to take" and that he was "the perfect example to any young player coming through".

And chief executive Barrett added: "Of the words that have been thrown around probably my favourite one is 'warrior'.

"He led boys to become men and he was a man. He was everything that is associated with Derry City Football Club and, indeed, the whole city."

The Irish Football Association tweeted: