Northern Ireland's football community was united in grief last night after the wife of Bangor manager Garth Scates died a week after she was involved in a car accident.
Mother-of-two Lesley Scates was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital last Wednesday night following the single vehicle crash on the Killinchy Road, Comber.
Pupils and staff at Nendrum College in Comber, Co Down – where Mrs Scates worked as a PE teacher – held a special assembly to pray for her while she lay in a coma. And almost 1,000 people signed up to a Facebook page called 'Pray For Mrs Lesley Scates'.
But Mrs Scates, who is believed to be in her thirties, succumbed to her injuries yesterday afternoon.
Social networking websites were packed with tributes to the popular teacher and Girls' Brigade leader.
A post on the Facebook page last night described her as "the most beautiful angel in heaven".
It added: "She is now in the hands of God. Love you more than the world Mrs Scates."
The Girls' Brigade in Northern Ireland said all its members were praying for her.
Former pupil Danielle Keating wrote that Mrs Scates would "be looking over all of us and her family".
Two clubs where Garth Scates played – Linfield and Ballymena United – will hold a minute's silence before their clash on Saturday.
In a statement last night, Linfield Football Club said: "The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Linfield FC go out to former midfielder Garth Scates whose wife has so sadly lost her fight for life in hospital, having been seriously injured in a car accident last week.
"A minute's silence will be observed by way of tribute prior to Saturday's game away to Ballymena United – one of Garth's former clubs."
Ards Football Club manager Niall Currie said the tragedy had brought the local football clubs together in solidarity with Garth at this difficult time.
Lesley is survived by her husband and their two children Gabriella and Elliott.
Her funeral is scheduled to take place on Monday at the Second Presbyterian Church in Comber.