Mark Farren has passed away at the age of 33 following his battle with cancer. Derry City's all-time leading goalscorer was initially diagnosed with having a brain tumour back in 2008 and he took a break from the game in 2010 to concentrate on his treatment.
However, he later returned to the Derry side and he broke Liam Coyle's goalscoring record in 2012 going on the score a total of 114 for the Candystripes. Farren moved on to Glenavon in 2013 before retiring from the game the following year.
His condition deteriorated last year and there was an incredible response from the League of Ireland community to the Mark Farren fund which was set up to try and keep every option open for the Donegal man. Despite the wonderful support for a man who touched the hearts of fans across the country, the incredibly sad news of his passing was confirmed on Wednesday morning.
A statement on Derry's website reads;
It is with great sadness that we learned this morning of the untimely passing of Derry City Legend and all-time top goal scorer Mark Farren.
Mark was a true gentleman of the game both on and off the pitch and will be remembered forever as a massive part of the club’s history.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Farren family at this time. Rest in peace Mark.
Writing on his Facebook page, Farren's former Derry teammate, Barry Molly, paid a particularly touching tribute to his friend.
Heaven has just gained an absolute legend and more importantly a true gentleman. Never forgotten. RIP Mark.
As you may expect, the tributes that have been paid to Farren this morning are a measure of a great footballer and an even better man.
Very sad to hear of the passing of Mark Farren, 1 of the best strikers Ive played against in the #loi 'pause & count your blessings' 🙏🏼
— Keith Fahey (@Keith_Fahey) February 3, 2016
Deepest sympathies go out to the Farren family at this very sad time. God bless Mark. Be just and fear not. pic.twitter.com/Vnun7eQFLc
— Glenavon FC (@Glenavon_FC) February 3, 2016
Sad to hear the passing of Mark Farren today.Our POTY in 2005 an incredible player and an incredible man. RIP Mark. pic.twitter.com/ZTNie9hJ80
— PFA Ireland (@PFAIOfficial) February 3, 2016
We send our heartfelt condolences to the family & friends of former @derrycityfc striker Mark Farren. Our thoughts & prayers are with them 🙏
— Limerick FC (@LimerickFCie) February 3, 2016
Thoughts are with the family of Mark Farren. Remember him playing at the showgrounds on his comeback. A brave man and a talented player 🙏
— Eoin Doyle (@eoindoyle88) February 3, 2016