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Sporting tributes from Derry paid to 'wonderful ambassador' John Hume

The former SDLP leader, who was president of Derry City FC, has passed away at the age of 83.

John Hume celebrating with the Derry City team after they won the League of Ireland First Division title in 2010.
John Hume celebrating with the Derry City team after they won the League of Ireland First Division title in 2010.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

DERRY CITY FC and Derry GAA have both paid tribute to John Hume following the death of the former SDLP leader.

The Derry native, who was an iconic peacemaker after devoting his life and career to campaigning for civil rights, passed away today at the age of 83.

He served as club president of Derry City and managed to arrange a high-profile fixture for the League of Ireland side against FC Barcelona in 2003. 

“As well as being an iconic figure on the political stage, John was a wonderful ambassador for the city and the club,” reads a statement issued today by Derry City.

“He has been president for the past 21 years and testimony to his global popularity was instrumental in bringing a star-studded Barcelona side to Derry in 2003.

“He was a genuine supporter too and attended as many games as he could. John travelled to all the club’s cup finals during his tenure and as a club and a city, we were lucky to have him.

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“Our deepest sympathies go out to John’s wife, Pat, and the entire family circle at this very difficult time. May his gentle soul Rest In Peace.” 

A minute’s silence will be observed in memory of John Hume before tonight’s Premier Division fixture between St Patrick’s Athletic and Derry City at Richmond Park.

“John Hume was a towering figure, a political titan who was a beacon of hope in our darkest times,” said Stephen Barker, chairman of Derry GAA.

“A proud Derry man, it’s hard to overstate the importance of his role as an architect of the peace process and the positive impact he had on our society. We send our condolences to his wife Pat and the Hume family.”

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Paul Dollery

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