THE Ryan McBride Foundation reacted this morning after yesterday’s news that the Brandywell Stadium will be renamed after Derry City’s late captain.
The 27-year-old footballer died suddenly at his Brandywell home in March last year.
Growing up literally a stone’s throw away from the stadium, he felt completely at home on the Brandywell pitch.
The centre-back played 177 times for the Candy Stripes, 57 of them as captain.
Councillors on Derry City and Strabane District Council voted to rename Brandywell stadium after a consultation on the proposal to change the name of the stadium started in April and closed on 1 July.
Almost 7,000 people voted in the consultation, with 71% voting in favour of renaming the stadium.
Following yesterday’s news, the Foundation released a short statement this morning describing the McBride family’s ‘delight’.
“We are delighted that the motion to rename the football stadium within the Brandywell Complex to the “Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium” has met the criteria set out by DCSDC Health and Community Committee.
“The McBride family and The Ryan McBride Foundation would like to thank all of those who voted and particularly those who supported the proposal to extend Ryan’s legacy by including his name in the name of the Stadium. Thank you also to DCSDC staff and councillors for their extensive work on this consultation over the past few months.
“We would like to thank Councillor Logue for bringing the matter before Council, Derry City chairman Philip O’Doherty and Derry City manager Kenny Shiels for their unwavering support. We are indebted to all the players, ex-players, ex-manager, Derry personalities and fellow professionals who came out in support of Ryan and the proposal. In particular, we took great solace in the support of our local community in the Brandywell and surrounding areas – the Stadium now belongs to the community.
“The Foundation and the extended McBride family will continue to work to extend Ryan’s legacy, to assist our local communities and to inspire young people through sport. Now that this process has completed, we hope that everyone supports us to continue the positive impact made in the name of Ryan McBride.
“We are aware of comments suggesting that votes from outside the Council area decided this matter. Having studied the statistics provided to Council yesterday it is clear that if the votes from outside Council area were discounted and deducted from our total the threshold still would have been met and the motion carried.
“We now wish Kenny and the players all the best for Sunday and we will be there to roar on the club that Ryan held so dear.”
Responding to the news at last night’s chamber meeting, McBride’s brother-in-law Gareth McCay told the Belfast Telegraph: “We are delighted by the news. It has been an emotional three or four months as we awaited the decision and an emotional year-and-a-half since Ryan passed away. I think the whole process took on a life of its own. It is brilliant that we have got the positive outcome.
“It’s great for the Ryan McBride Foundation too, because one of our main aims was to keep Ryan’s legacy and name alive. Brandywell Stadium will be there for who knows how long and his name will be on it.
“We will always keep Ryan’s name alive and this generation will remember what type of fella he was and how he played football.
“But in 20 years time there could be fellas walking into the Brandywell with their kids and their kids will ask who Ryan McBride is and they will be told.
“The story will be retold for years and years. Ryan’s story is a unique story, where he came from playing pub football to playing for Derry City, turning down massive deals with other clubs to stay with Derry and becoming captain.
“We’ll all sadly depart at some stage but the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium will always be there.”Tags: