Tributes follow the passing of a local football legend

Jon Clifford. (0706PG07)

Jon Clifford. (0706PG07)

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Tributes have been paid to Jon Clifford, a man described as a legend of local football, who passed away at the weekend.

Mr Clifford had been involved with youth football teams in the city, most notably Tristar FC, for a number of decades. He died at the weekend following a period of illness.

Foyle SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey said Mr Clifford’s death will be keenly felt in local sporting circles.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Jon Clifford, a dear neighbour and friend and a dedicated advocate of junior football in this City over many years.

“Countless young people benefited from his passion for helping the development of upcoming generations, it is a massive loss. I would like to convey my sincerest condolences to his family at this difficult time,” he said.

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson said as well as helping children locally, the football coach also helped children in Africa.

“There is a great sadness in the Bogside area on hearing that Jon Clifford has passed away.

He was very well known in sporting circles in the city for his tireless work for soccer and in particular with Tristar Football Club.

“A number of years ago I was involved in collecting a consignment of sports gear for a charity working with school children in Africa and when I put an appeal out in the local press one of the first people to contact my office was Jon .He donated a number of full team kits and was very helpful.

“I would like to send my condolences to his family and friends. They are in our thoughts and prayers at this time,” Ms Anderson said.