Tributes have been paid to a young Tyrone footballer who died just hours after helping his team become champions of the Saturday Morning League.
Rory Carlin, aged 22, played for Tyrone’s Strabane Athletic FC. The team celebrated a cup win on Saturday, but their victory turned to shock and heartache when they received news of Rory’s sudden death.
Rory had cancelled on the team’s celebratory trip to Donegal Town on Saturday night. The following morning, the players received the devastating news.
A tribute from the cloud said: “There are no words we can offer to Rory’s family only our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy. Everything pales into insignificance when a young life is lost. Rory will never be forgotten by a deeply shocked Strabane Afc. His manager, coaches and fellow players are numbed by this awful tragedy. Rest in Peace Rory.”
Marcel Griffin, manager of Strabane Athletic FC, said in a social media post on Sunday: “I am absolutely devastated to hear of the terrible sad loss of one of my Strabane Athletic Sat Morn squad members.
“Yesterday saw us win the league title and we celebrated last night with a trip to Donegal Town.
“Rory Carlin you would’ve been proud and should’ve been there. You helped us achieve this accolade, for that we all are grateful.
“After receiving a late cancellation message, I would never have imagined waking up this morning to hear that you are no longer with us bud. Words mean nothing now.
“To your mum, dad, brothers and wider family circle and close friends I am so so sorry for your loss.
“From the Strabane Afc wider community, if there’s anything we can help with we will endeavour to do all we can.
“You were a genuine, polite and lovable lad and you weren’t a bad baller on your day as well.
“Your presence will be sadly missed. Until we meet again bud (make sure there’s a place in that football club above for me now).
“Fly high Rory and look over your loved ones, over the hardest of days ahead.”
Strabane Sigersons GAA, who Rory previously played for in 2016, also shared a tribute.
“We would like to offer our deepest condolences to the Carlin and Casey families on their very sad loss,” the club said.
“The two families have been long-term supporters of our club.
“His mum Karen was one of the founding players of Sigersons ladies with other family members having strong links to the club.
“We also offer our condolences with all Rory’s friends within Sigersons and Strabane Athletic.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh anam.”