LATEST: Soccer Writers' Association of Ireland confirm funeral arrangements for Ryan McBride

Update - 4.25pm: The Soccer Writers' Association of Ireland confirmed that McBride's funeral would take place at St Columba's Church in Derry on Thursday.

The funeral cortege is scheduled to leave his home at 9.20am for requiem mass at 10am, with burial to follow in the city cemetery.

People pay their respects in front of a Derry City FC jersey pinned to the fence outside the Brandywell Stadium, which is currently under construction, to the late Derry City captain Ryan McBride. Pic: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Update - 2.46pm: Democratic Unionist leader and former Stormont first minister Arlene Foster has expressed her condolences for Ryan.

She tweeted: "My deepest condolences to the family and all @derrycityfc as they mourn the loss of the talented Ryan McBride. Such devastating news."

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Foyle Raymond McCartney said there was widespread shock in Derry.

"Ryan was an excellent player, a great leader on and off the field, and an inspiration to many," he said.

"I send my condolences and those of the party to the McBride family and everyone who knew Ryan.

"I have no doubt the community across the city will rally round to support them at this sad and difficult time."

The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, also tweeted condolences: "Sad news from #Derry Praying for family of #ryanmcbride and for his many friends and supporters who will miss him. Lord have mercy. RIP."

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill said the tragic death of Derry's Ryan McBride put sport into perspective.

O'Neill spoke at this morning's Republic of Ireland press conference on McBride's death, saying: "It is tragic. I didn't know the young lad personally myself. James McClean is a very good friend of his, James is devastated by the news, obviously his family is as well.

"It's a real tragic event."

The Ireland coach said it put things like sport into persepctive.

He said: "You get things like this on a daily basis... it puts football and sport in some sort of perspective."

O'Neill's comments were echoed by Ireland striker Jonathan Walters and defender John Egan.

Walters said: "It really puts things into perspective. We send our deepest condolences from the squad here and everyone involved."

Egan added: "It's very sad news. To hear that a young man in his prime has passed away is very sad. Especially the Derry lads who know him, it will hit them hard.

"The lads have kind of mentioned it in the squad, but it's very sad news and obviously we're all thinking of his family and friends at this time and hoping that they're okay."

McBride made his debut for his home town club six years ago and was a firm favourite thanks in part to his committed style of defending. He played more than 100 league matches for Derry.

Former Liverpool strikers Robbie Fowler and Stan Collymore were among those expressing condolences.

Update1.46pm: Derry City Football Club have paid tribute to captain Ryan McBride following his untimely death last night.

Club CEO Sean Barrett gave an emotional press conference earlier today.

He said that the death has been difficult for the younger players in the squad.

"He's the man they all looked up to, he was our man, he was the man who, when you had the big bullies form the big clubs come into us, they'd say: 'You know what, we've got Ryan - and Ryan will help us'. And that's what he done," he said.

"It's such a big, big loss to this club, and his family, obviously, are devastated, as everyone is.

"I just don't know what we can say or do."

The club also paid tribute to their captain, saying that he "will be remembered as one of the greats of Derry City Football Club".


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Update 11.30am: Derry native and Limerick FC defender Shaun Kelly, who played with Ryan McBride for Derry during the 2014 season, paid tribute to his former teammate after his untimely death this morning.

“Such shocking news to get,” said Kelly.

“Ryan was a warrior on the pitch, a great player, and leader. He was excellent to me during my short time at Derry and an absolute gentleman off the pitch to everyone.

“My thoughts are with everyone at Derry City Football Club, and all his family and friends.”

All EA SPORTS Cup First Round fixtures have been postponed as a mark of respect .

The SSE Airtricity League Premier Division fixture between Galway United and Derry City, scheduled for Saturday, March 25th has also been postponed, following the earlier postponement of the Derry City and Limerick match.

Update 10.24am: Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross TD and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan TD have today paid tribute to Derry City FC captain, Ryan McBride, who passed away suddenly at the weekend.

Minister Ross stated: “I send my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Ryan at this difficult time.

“His passing at such a young age is a tragedy and shocking for everyone at Derry City FC.”

Minister O’Donovan added: “Ryan’s family and friends are in my thoughts and prayers.

“His club has lost a great sportsman and captain and he will be sorely missed by all.”

Update 9.14am: The Football Association of Ireland expresses its sympathies to the family of Ryan McBride after the Derry City defender passed away suddenly last night.

FAI CEO John Delaney said: "Irish football is in mourning with the loss of a true great of the game, with the shocking news about Ryan McBride's passing.

"I would like to pass on my deepest condolences to Ryan's family, friends, and his club, Derry City FC, for which he was their leader, their captain and their inspiration.

"On behalf of the FAI Board and everyone in the Association, I would like to offer our sympathies to all who were blessed to have known Ryan.

"Ryan's passing has left a deep shock throughout football. We will remember Ryan with a tribute at Friday night's FIFA World Cup qualifier against Wales."

Earlier:

The Irish President has paid tribute to Derry City Football Club captain Ryan McBride after he died suddenly at the age of 27.

The Irish Football Association confirmed the tragedy.

McBride is thought to have died at his home in Derry, close to his side's ground, last night.

The cause of his death is unknown.

His last match was a 4-0 triumph over Drogheda United in the League of Ireland Premier Division on Saturday.

The IFA tweeted: "Thoughts tonight with the family of Ryan McBride and everyone involved with @derrycityfc."

This is the second tragedy to strike the club in just over a year.

Ex-Derry City and Glenavon striker Mark Farren died aged 33 in February 2016.

Derry's record goalscorer had been receiving treatment for an aggressive brain tumour.

A year ago, Derry player Josh Daniels lost his mother, sister, brother-in-law and nephews in the Buncrana pier tragedy.

A car slid off the pier and entered Lough Swilly.

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