Derry City great Liam Coyle says the loss of Ryan McBride at the age of just 27 is devastating for everyone connected to a club still recovering from a year of off-field tragedy.
Candystripes captain McBride was found dead at his home near the Brandywell stadium on Sunday.
"You could throw a stone and hit the pitch from where Ryan lived," Coyle told RTÉ Sport.
"He was such an icon and an idol to everyone in the Brandywell, a role-model to all the young people who want to be footballers.
"It's just so sad for everyone in the area."
Mark Farren, who overtook Coyle as record Derry goalscorer, died of cancer at 33 last February while winger Josh Daniels lost five members of his family in a fatal accident at Buncrana pier year ago today.
"It's unbelievable," said Coyle. "When you think of one football club, in the last year alone, first of all Mark Farren died and then young Josh Daniels and the Buncrana pier tragedy. And now Ryan.
"It just beggars belief how so many things could happen to one football club and one community."
together on the pitch and we will be together through this hard time and further. you've left a mark with us all in such a short time. ❤ pic.twitter.com/j0BfFn0l2Y— Joshua Daniels (@Joshua10Daniels) March 20, 2017
Coyle is a personal friend of the McBride family.
"I've known Ryan all his life. His father is a friend of mine. We grew up living across the street from each other.
"I watched him growing up from his no age playing football.
"When I retired from Derry City, I played a couple of years in the local leagues and Ryan came through then.
"He was just a great young fella. A quiet young fella, who loved playing football and wanted to play for Derry City.
"I'm just heartbroken for his father and his family."
Liam Coyle, Denis Bradley and Stephen Kenny pay tribute to @derrycityfc captain Ryan McBride after his untimely death. #RTEsoccer pic.twitter.com/CNLXunxvc0— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) March 20, 2017