Derry City captain Ryan McBride has died suddenly, the Irish Football Association has said.
The 27-year-old defender is thought to have died at home on Sunday evening.
The Irish FA tweeted: “Thoughts tonight with the family of Ryan McBride and everyone involved with @derrycityfc.”
The death comes a day after McBride led his team to a 4-0 victory over Drogheda United.
He started playing for his hometown club in 2011 and featured alongside current Republic of Ireland and West Brom star James McClean.
Derry City had started the season strongly – with McBride on the scoresheet in wins against Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk.
McClean is expected to be excused from training with the senior Ireland team this week so he can attend the funeral.
McClean’s wife Erin posted a picture of McBride on Twitter along with a broken heart emoji and wrote: “No words. Devastating.”
Derry were due to play Limerick on Tuesday at their Brandywell stadium, but it is now unlikely the game will go ahead.
Tributes poured in from the Irish football community, including from rival clubs Dundalk, Cork City, Limerick and Linfield.
Galway United midfielder Gavan Holohan wrote: “Can’t believe the tragic news I’ve just heard about Ryan Mcbride… An absolute warrior on the pitch. Thoughts are with his family.”
Derry City has been hit by a string of tragedies in recent years.
Last year, popular striker Mark Farren died at the age of 33 after battling a brain tumour.
Also, current Derry player Josh Daniels lost his mother, sister, brother in law and nephews in the Buncrana pier tragedy in Donegal.