DERRY CITY manager Kenny Shiels says the club must rally around midfielder, Josh Daniels, following the player’s devastating personal tragedy.
Josh tragically lost his mother, Ruth, his younger sister Jodie-Lee, his sister’s partner Sean McGrotty and nephews Mark and Evan in an incident at Buncrana Pier which sent shockwaves through the city on Sunday evening.
Shiels said his thoughts and prayers were with Josh and his relatives who were trying to come to terms with the shocking news.
Shiels said Josh was ‘part of the football family at Derry City’ and promised the club’s ‘full support and pastoral care’ during such a heartbreaking time for the player.
“Everybody in the club is behind Josh,” said Shiels. “We’re totally supportive of Josh. He’s a young boy who has lost his loved ones and we need to support and rally around him at this time.
“It’s such a tragedy,” he continued. “The players and staff are all behind him. Josh has lost his family and that impacts on us as a club.
We’re totally supportive of Josh. He’s a young boy who has lost his loved ones and we need to support and rally around him at this time.Kenny Shiels
“We must rally behind him now and give him all the support and pastoral care we can. As a football family, he’s one of ours. It’s really hard for us all to take in and it must be soul-destroying for the young boy and for everyone involved. Our thoughts are with him and his family.”
Derry City Chairman, Mr Philip O’Doherty, echoed the sentiments of the club’s manager in a statement issued yesterday on behalf of the club.
It read: ‘On behalf of the Board of Directors, the manager, the staff and the players of Derry City, I want to express our shock and sadness at the tragedy that happened in Buncrana on Sunday night.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Daniels and McGrotty families in this most painful time.
“Our thoughts are especially with our colleague and team mate, Josh Daniels, who has been with this club since he was a boy.
“We are conscious of the depth of his loss. Inadequate as it is, everyone at the club wants to assure him that they will be with him in the coming days and, more importantly, in the weeks and months that lie ahead’.