West Brom midfielder James McClean has paid tribute to his former Derry City teammate, Mark Farren, who has died aged 33.
Striker Farren, who was the record goal scorer for Derry City, was first diagnosed with a grade two brain tumour in 2008 but made a full recovery and continued playing.
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
— James McClean (@JamesMcC14) February 3, 2016
However, in 2013 Farren was again diagnosed with another brain tumour, which also required surgery. Following surgery that removed 80%-90% of that tumour, the football community rallied together. Everton defender Seamus Coleman donated £5,000 to the Mark Farren Fund.
Farren played for City from 2003 to 2012, netting 114 goals in 209 appearances. Republic Of Ireland international McClean played with Farren between 2008 and 2011 before his £350,000 move to Sunderland.
McClean wrote on Twitter: “I’m gutted to hear the news of the death of my former teammate Mark Farren. He was a great player and even better man. My prayers are with his family. RIP, buddy.”
Derry City chairman Philip Doherty also paid tibute to the striker, who averaged a goal ratio of better than one in two throughout his career.
“We offer our sympathies to his family.” Doherty added, “Mark was a superb player and I think the entire football community throughout Ireland would say the same.
“But, most of all, he was a decent human being.”
Sorry to hear about the passing of Mark Farren a great player and a lovely guy who lost this battle with cancer. pic.twitter.com/aGaSHCRCXk
— Oliver McVeigh (@sportsfileollie) February 3, 2016
In 2013, Farren left Derry City to join Irish League club Glenavon, but was later forced to quit the game because of his illness.
Loaded sports writer Pearse Corcoran has covered news, sport and entertainment for several national newspapers and radio stations in Ireland. Follow him on Twitter at @PearseCorcoran