Shane Duffy was one of those paying tribute to Martin McGuinness on Tuesday morning. The former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland passed away overnight at the age of 66.
The Ireland international, like McGuinness, hails from Derry. Duffy called McGuinness a 'true hero' to many like him.
More tragic news this morning, RIP Martin Mc Guinness a true hero for many off us ? god bless your family and close ones #ireland
— Shane Duffy (@ShaneDuffy34) March 21, 2017
Duffy currently plays for Championship side Brighton, a town which was attacked by the IRA in 1984.
Five people were killed when the IRA bombed the Grand Brighton Hotel during a Conservative Party conference.
Duffy's association with the town and McGuinness' with the IRA led to the 25-year-old receiving some criticism for his tribute.
@ShaneDuffy34 you play for Brighton, the IRA planted a bomb there killing 5 people. He was part of that bombing yet you're praising him ??
— SA (@stuartangus2012) March 21, 2017
Duffy did not remain quiet following the negativity, saying that he will 'always stand by what and who I support.'
I'll always stand by what and who I support , it's the way I was brought up https://t.co/w07ugGngmN
— Shane Duffy (@shaneduffy) March 21, 2017