DERRY CITY manager, Kenny Shiels fought back the tears as he read a heartfelt poem he penned about his late captain, Ryan McBride at the player's funeral this morning.
Hundreds gathered at St Columba's Chapel, Long Tower to pay their respects to the much loved defender who passed away suddenly last Sunday.
President Michael D Higgins and FAI chief Executive John Delaney were among those in attendance alongside Ryan's Derry City teammates and coaches past and present.
Fr Aidan Mullan told the congregation how Ryan was 'an athlete in his prime who achieved much and still had great potential' who brought 'so many thrilling moments to supporters of Derry City, and across Ireland, over the past seven years'.
And the emotional words from the Derry City manager who described Ryan as 'our top Candystripe' was greeted by a standing ovation.
Shiels' poem read:
In your absence, our Trojan warrior,
You've ran your last race.
Your passion and energy,
You just loved the place.
In your absence with love and respect;
In your absence, we will never forget.
You were our captain without all the hype,
The one and the only, our top Candystripe.
In you absence we will endeavour to fight,
In your absence, with all our might.
Our Brandywell boy you wore stripes with great pride
It made you so happy to play in the side.
In your absence we still feel you here
The big number five, so vivid so clear.
Ryan, we love you with all our heart
A giant so gentle and now we're apart
In your absence We still play the game
But in your absence it won't be the same.