Declan McDowell described as an inspiration and ‘role model’ as former Derry City captain is laid to rest
FORMER Derry City captain Declan McDowell has been described as an 'inspirational footballer' and a 'role model' for many young people as he was laid to rest on Thursday morning.
Family and friends of the ex-Candy Stripe, who was one of a small band of players to have played for the Brandywell club in both the Irish League and League of Ireland, gathered to bid their final farewell at Holy Family Parish church in Ballymagroarty.
Rev. Joseph Gormley described how Declan, who passed away peacefully at his home in Foyle Springs surrounded by his family on Tuesday, wasn't just a great footballer but a 'celebrity'.
"Declan worked in the Housing Executive for 45 years and retired in 2013," began Father Gormley. "He was also well known for playing for Derry City, Finn Harps, Oxford and for returning to Derry City on their League of Ireland return. Declan captained Derry City to their first trophy on their return to the League of Ireland.
"He was a solid player. One who was very determined and I was able to see yesterday a tackle that his son Roddy showed to me and I certainly wouldn't have wanted to run into Declan.
"An inspirational footballer, in many ways Declan could be considered a celebrity. Much has been written about him and rightly so.
"Declan in many ways is a role model for many young people.”
Derry City FC led the tributes to their former skipper: “Derry City FC is deeply saddened today by news of the death of former team captain, Declan McDowell. Declan held the distinction of having played for the Candystripes in both the Irish League and the League of Ireland.
Our deepest sympathies to the entire family circle at this difficult time.
May he Rest In Peace.”