Players and fans will fall silent at the Brandywell in a touching tribute this afternoon in memory of a lifelong Derry City supporter who has died after losing his battle with cancer.
Sean Og Semple, who was 38, died at the Foyle Hospice on Friday. It was a double tragedy for the well known Semple family, from Charlotte Street, who lost their father - also called Sean - to lung cancer last July.
Speaking yesterday Bridgeen Semple said her late brother fought his illness with dignity and bravery, especially during the final days of his life.
“He was so very brave, right up until the end,” she said.
“His attitude was totally amazing. Even over the last few weeks, when he was in the Foyle Hospice, he was the one sitting spurring on the other patients. He stayed so positive. When he was told that he just had two weeks left to live he said he knew he had to face it and he was only worried about everyone that was being left behind. That’s how brave he was.”
Bridgeen said that Sean, who had worked in the City Hotel for almost ten years before a recent stint working in Jersey, had been well liked and respected by everyone who knew him.
She said her brother had just one major interest in life. “It was football, football and more football,” smiled Bridgeen.
“He was a massive Derry City fan and if it wasn’t Derry City it was Celtic. He never missed a match at the Brandywell. He was so passionate about it. He had been talking about going to see them to the match today, but he never made it. He had gone into the Foyle Hospice for some respite but wasn’t well enough to get out again.”
Bridgeen has invited people coming to her brother’s funeral to wear a football top in his memory.
“If people would like to, they can wear Derry City, or Celtic or Derry GAA tops. I think Sean would have liked that. We won’t be having a religious ceremony but his funeral is going the City Cemetery and that will be a time to say a few words and remember Sean for the person he was. He had a brilliant sense of humour, just absolutely brilliant, and I think that’s something people will always remember about him.”
Sean’s remains will be removed from his home 16 Charlotte Street, Derry at 11a.m. today (Sunday) to the City Cemetery. He is survived by his mother Patricia McCool, his brother Eamon, sister Bridgeen and nephews and nieces Sean, Brannagh, Eabha and Caidenn.