Northern Ireland

Derry City captain Ryan McBride is laid to rest

Ryan McBride Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Ryan McBride's coffin is brought to the church

The funeral of Derry City captain Ryan McBride has taken place in the city.

The 27-year-old footballer 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.

Image caption Flowers within the coffin depicted his jersey - number five

The cause of death is not yet known but a post-mortem has been carried out.

His funeral was held in Londonderry's St Columba's Church hours before it hosts Martin McGuinness' funeral. Irish President Michael D Higgins is attending both services.

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Media captionDerry City manager's emotional tribute to Ryan McBride

At the scene: BBC News NI's Ciaran McCauley

Mourners began arriving at Long Tower Church about an hour before Ryan McBride's funeral.

The feeling among those at the church remained one of shock at the sudden death of Derry City's 27-year-old captain.

"It's been an awful week for the city," one said, reflecting not just the death of Ryan McBride, but also former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Mourners carry tributes to the Derry City captain
Image caption Members of the club's youth squads and women team lined the entrance to the church

Before the service, members of the club's youth squads and women's team lined the entrance to the church, with the club's traditional colours of red, white and black on full display.

Teammates walked alongside the hearse as it approached on the short journey from the city's Brandywell area. Flowers within the coffin spelled out the word "captain" and depicted McBride's jersey - number five.


Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption A Derry City shirt was put on top of Mr McBride's coffin

The player was buried in the city cemetery.

During the service, an emotional Kenny Shiels - the manager of Derry City - read out a poem in tribute to his captain on behalf of the players and staff at the club.

'A perfect example'

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 family members of winger Josh Daniels a year ago.

Image caption Irish President Michael D Higgins arrives at Ryan McBride's funeral

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

"Of the words that have been thrown around probably my favourite one is 'warrior'.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The 27-year-old was found dead at home on Sunday
Image caption Mr McBride is being buried in the city cemetery

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".

Profile: Ryan McBride

Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption Ryan McBride led Derry City to a 4-0 victory over Drogheda United on Saturday

Since his debut in 2011, McBride had not only become a mainstay of the club's defence, but a fans' favourite.

He made more than 170 appearances, with more than 50 as captain after he took over the role permanently two years ago.

A self-professed quiet man off the pitch, McBride said it was a "different story" on it. "I switch on and then I'm in game mode," he said.

Republic of Ireland footballer James McClean, a former team mate of McBride at Derry, said he was "a warrior that literally would throw his body on the line when he pulled on that Derry City jersey, a club that meant so much to him".

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Media captionHeartbroken Derry City players leave a press conference following the death of Ryan McBride

Image caption Tributes to Ryan McBride at Brandywell Stadium

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