'It's important Derry City players understand the history of this club and who Mark Farren was'
DERRY CITY chairman Mr Philip O'Doherty believes it's 'fitting' that players will be greeted by an inspiring image of the legendary Mark Farren every time they grace the pitch at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
Commenting at the official unveiling of the mural of the club's record goalscorer by Derry City and Strabane District Council, Mr O'Doherty was delighted the late Greencastle man's memory will be kept alive at the ground where he left such an indelible mark.
It was a proud moment for Mark's parents, Michael and Kathleen and his aunt Brigid who were present at the unveiling of the mural which was painted by local company Peaball Creatives.
Also in attendance were Derry City manager, Ruaidhri Higgins - a long-standing friend and teammate of the former City striker - and Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Cllr Brian Tierney.
The mural has been placed on the tunnel of the new Mark Farren Stand which was named in his memory back in 2018.
The club also retired the No.18 shirt which was synonymous with the striker who represented the club with such distinction from 2003 to 2012.
The Inishowen man, who tragically passed away in 2016 aged 33 after a brave battle with cancer, made 209 appearances for the club during that time, scoring an incredible 114 goals.
He was the league's leading goalscorer in 2008, the PFAI Player of the Year in 2005 and won two FAI Cups, a First Division title and five League Cups during a memorable career with the Candy Stripes.
City boss Higgins, felt the new mural captures the spirit of Farren, who he described as 'a special player' who left a legacy at the club.
"It's an absolutely fantastic job," said Higgins. "It's just Mark. It's an amazing mural and it's something that he deserves. I played with him and he was a special player. The amount of goals he's scored in this place is incredible. I've amazing memories of Mark and it was great to see his parents here today and we had a good conversation which was nice.
"I think it's important the players understand the history of this club and who Mark Farren was."
Club chairman, Mr O'Doherty added that Farren was 'more than just a player' and he was delighted to join his parents and the Council in celebrating his life.
"Mark will always be a huge part of the history of Derry City Football Club, and we are happy to join Council in celebrating his life," he said. "Mark was more than just a player here. He has left a real legacy at the club and it is fitting that his image will greet the players every time they take the field.
"We are delighted that the Council have also kept Mark's memory alive both with the stand named after him, and this fantastic mural."
A true Brandywell legend, Mayor Brian Tierney said Council were happy to pay tribute to someone who had such a positive legacy in the city.
"I am truly honoured both as Mayor of this city and district and as a lifelong Derry City fan to attend the official unveiling of the mural of Mark which now forms part of the Mark Farren Stand.
"We know that Mark's story and his legacy will be spoken about for many years to come, and we hope that this mural will be a fitting tribute to the role that he played in the football history of Derry and celebrate the joy that he gave to so many football fans here in the city.
"Mark's family continue to be in the thoughts and prayers of us all."