DERRY CITY’S BRANDYWELL stadium is set to be renamed in memory of the club’s late captain Ryan McBride, after local councillors today voted unanimously in favour of the proposal.
27-year-old McBride passed away suddenly on 19 March 2017, and consultation on the proposal to change the name of the home of Derry City in his honour commenced earlier this year.
Members of the public were invited to vote via the council’s website, and at a Derry City and Strabane District Council Health and Community Committee meeting on Thursday, it was announced 71% (4,678) were in favour of renaming the venue the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
The vote was subsequently supported by all councillors present at the meeting, and the decision will now required to be ratified at full council level at its next sitting on Thursday 27 September.
Given the unanimous support across the chamber, the final step of the process is expected to be a rubber-stamping exercise, with some councillors pushing the council to implement the name-change as soon as possible.
McBride grew up in the shadow of the Brandywell, before going on to fulfil his dream of captaining his home town club, endearing himself to Derry City fans for his passion, loyalty and leadership on and off the pitch.
The defender made his debut for the Candystripes in 2011, making over 100 league appearances for the club, before tragically passing away four games into the start of last season.
McBride made an indelible mark on Derry City and his death left a huge void within the club and community, prompting councillors to suggest the redeveloped Brandywell be renamed as a tribute.
The ground was reopened at the start of the current League of Ireland season after a multi-million Euro redevelopment, which included the installation of a new 955-seater stand and synthetic turf pitch.
The Brandywell will host Sunday’s EA Sports Cup final as Derry City bid to win their first piece of silverware since lifting the 2012 FAI Cup when they face First Division side Cobh Ramblers.
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