Derry City FC steward Paddy McDermott passed away in hospital this afternoon just days after sustaining serious head injuries in a fall.
The 45-year-old, who owned a window cleaning business, fell from a ladder while cleaning guttering at a house in the Oakbridge area of the city on Monday.
Mr. McDermott, from Hazelbank, was initially taken to Altnagelvin Hospital but was later transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where he died yesterday.
Billy Scampton, Events Controller with Derry City FC, last night described his close friend as the “salt of the earth.”
Mr. Scampton said his friend was “very well known” and “very well liked - particularly within Derry City FC circles.”
“I’m sure I speak for everyone at the club - in particular the stewards - when I say we’re heartbroken at the loss of Paddy.
“Not only have we lost a good friend but the club has lost a very valuable individual who played a key role at Brandywell on match days.
“I’ve been working with Paddy for 15 years and I can say without hesitation that he will be a very big loss to the club.
“We worked hand in glove together and we were part of the FAI-winning Match Day Management Team for the 2010 season.
“We had just been working on contingency and emergency plans for the forthcoming season for Derry City Council.
“In fact, I was just about to phone him when I received the news of his accident.”
Mr. Scampton said his friend “would have given you the shirt off his back.”
“He was a tireless worker on behalf of the club and our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time,” he added.
Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney, a friend of Mr. McDermott, said he was deeply saddened to hear of his death.
“I would like to take this opportunity to pass on my regards to Paddy’s family,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.”