There’s been a huge outpouring of grief among the soccer community across the island and in the North West in particular at the sad news that Derry City legend and all-time record goal-scorer Mark Farren has passed away after a long and brave battle with cancer.
Former teammates, clubs, fans and admirers took to Twitter to express their condolences with Mark’s friends and family who are mourning the legendary striker who passed away on Wednesday at just 33.
Irish internationals Danny Lafferty and James McClean were among those paying their respects.
Mr Lafferty tweeted: “Privileged to have shared a dressing room with Mark Farren, an absolute gentleman and a Derry city legend. RIP Mark.”
Mr McClean posted: “Gutted to hear news of the death of my former teammate Mark Farren, great player, even better man, prayers are with his family, RIP buddy.”
Another former teammate and fellow Inishowen man Stephen McLaughlin tweeted: “RIP Mark Farren an absolute gentleman he was.”
Clubs up and down the country, in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, also paid tribute.
Derry City FC, where he surpassed all previous goal-scoring records, tweeted: “It is with great sadness that we learn this morning of the passing of the club’s all-time top goal scorer Mark Farren.”
Two other of his former clubs also paid their respects.
Finn Harps tweeted: “We are all shocked & saddened to hear about the passing of Mark Farren deepest condolences to his family & many friends may he rest in peace.”
And Glenavon FC tweeted: “It is with the greatness sadness that this morning we have learnt of the passing away of Mark Farren.”
Several other clubs with which Mark had no direct connection also posted their admiration and respects, a testament to the great regard in which he was held.
Shamrock Rovers posted: “Deeply saddened at the passing of ex @derrycityfc striker Mark Farren. A great opponent and a great person. RIP.”
Portadown FC tweeted: “The thoughts of everyone at Portadown FC are with the family of Mark Farren and all at @Glenavon_FC after Mark’s passing this morning” and Ballymena United: “We would like to extend our sympathies to the family and friends of ex Derry City & Glenavon player Mark Farren who passed away this morning.”
Local politicians Martin McGuinness and Mark H. Durkan also paid tribute.
Mr McGuinness tweeted: “Heartbreaking that @derrycityfc #legend Mark Farren has died.A great footballer & gentleman.My thoughts with Terri- Louise & their families,” and Mr Durkan: “Devastated at passing of @derrycityfc great Mark Farren. Inspired us all through his brilliance on the pitch and bravery off it. RIP.”