Former Antrim footballer and charity campaigner Anto Finnegan has died, aged 48.

The Belfast man was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease and spent the last decade raising awareness and significant funding for the deterMND charity, which he founded.

Finnegan's death was confirmed by his club, St Paul's, who said that "It is with the upmost sadness that we learn of the passing of our friend, former player, coach, mentor & ambassador Anto Finnegan.

"This world has lost a fine man. Our deepest sympathies to Alison, Conall, Ava & the Finnegan & Dowdall families.

"Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam uasal."

Anto Finnegan introduces his Antrim team to President Mary McAleese prior to the Ulster semi-final in 2000

Finnegan played for Antrim over an 11-year period and had the privilege of captaining his county.

Sinn Fein MLA paid tribute, saying Finnegan was "an inspirational Antrim Gael".

"Anto made the rest of us feel big. He personified such great resilience & determination. I am very sad for his clann, cairde & club. Codladh sámh a hAntóin. Ní dhéanfar dearmad ort."

Dublin midfielder Brian Fenton was also among the many who have paid tribute to Finnegan upon the news of his passing.

"Legend doesn't do him service," wrote Fenton, on his social media account.

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