After the tragic death of Munster and Ireland rugby legend and former Munster head coach Anthony Foley in Paris on Saturday night, a number of his former team-mates and colleagues from his playing days have been paying tribute to him in the morning's newspapers.
Former Munster and Ireland team-mates Ronan O'Gara and Peter Stringer were the first of his close friends to express their grief via Twitter last night.
Alone on the couch with Jess.Heartbroken.We have lost an incredible man. Too sad to tweet further.. sleep well Axel. We love you..xxx
— Ronan O Gara (@RonanOGara10) October 16, 2016
Feeling numb and alone with only thoughts of this remarkable man.My protector on the field,I will miss you forever Axel.
— Peter Stringer (@stringer9) October 16, 2016
Frankie Sheahan (Former Munster and Ireland team-mate) - 'The Irish Independent'
I know he wrote about it in his book, but we were laughing about it not long ago - the night he got dropped in the World Cup in Australia and we brought him out and hit the town in Melbourne. We ended up in a casino and that was the night I hit the jackpot and won $93,000 (about €60,000). Axel got on to the lads to come down and be part of it. Gaillimh and a few more had landed by the time the guy in the casino handed over 18 or 19 chips worth $5,000 each. They suggested I would need some security staff but then took one look at the lads and said 'maybe not.' Axel said to him: 'Don't worry, we'll mind him.'
...It's just hard to believe what has happened.
Paul Wallace (former Ireland team-mate) - 'Irish Daily Mail'
Anthony was a one province man and in the modern, professional game that is a phenomenal achievement. With other teams there was a sense that they were more mercenary than anything else but it was different with Munster. Being able to forge that bond is what led them to being so successful and Anthony was at the heart of it. He brought it through from schools rugby to club to province and then into coaching the team...he will leave a legacy at Munster with players coming through sharing his values – the likes of Peter O'Mahony, David Kilcoyne, James Cronin and CJ Stander who Anthony has developed.
Shane Byrne (former Ireland team-mate) - 'The Herald'
He had a wicked sense of humour. It was very, very dry. He never wasted words. When he did say something, he said it in far fewer words than most people - it worked a charm on you. The compliment to the man outside of rugby was that there were seldom people who spent time in his company that felt anything other than warmth for him.
Liam Toland (former Munster and Ireland team-mate) - 'Irish Times'
In 2006 I was in Montevideo in Uruguay coaching Lansdowne when thousands of miles away Axel lifted the trophy that eluded so many Munster greats. I was as proud and as happy as I've ever been when it was he who lifted it.
For he, Anthony 'Axel' Foley, was everything you'd want your son, your brother, your father to be.
Donal Lenihan (former Ireland manager) - 'Irish Examiner'
As Ireland manager, I remember him approaching me once when he wasn't being selected for the national team and demanded to know the reasoning for the decision. I told him every time we had seen him play in the build up he had been limping and didn't look fully fit. He accepted the explanation and confirmed he had an issue with his ankle but had to keep playing in order not to let Shannon down. That was Anthony Foley in a nutshell. He gave everything to the cause.