Crusaders mourn death of former skipper Walter McFarland

Irish League football is mourning the death of former Crusaders captain Walter McFarland.

Regarded as a legend of the north Belfast club, McFarland played for the Crues in the 1960s and 70s.

Former Crusaders captain Walter McFarland
Walter McFarland won league and cup honours with Crusaders

McFarland was the skipper of the Crusaders side which won the Irish League title in 1973 and he won another championship medal three years later.

He was also a successful judo player, and became the World Masters Champion in 2001.

During this time with Crusaders, the team played in Europe against such sides as Liverpool and Valencia.

McFarland won Irish Cup medals with the Crues in 1967 and 1968.

He later became a coach at Crusaders and also managed Ballyclare Comrades.

On their website on Saturday, Crusaders said: "It was with deep regret that we learned this morning of the death of our former club captain Walter McFarland. To his wife and family circle we extend our deepest sympathy at his untimely passing.

"Walter was guest of honour at the last Player of the Year awards in April past and enjoyed the reunion dinner held last October to mark the 40th anniversary of the club's first league championship win.

"A highly thought of and respected man Walter will be missed by his immediate family and the wider community in general."