Crusaders legend Arthur 'Mousey' Brady was loved and admired
Crusaders and the wider football community in Northern Ireland are mourning the loss of Arthur 'Mousey' Brady, a true legend who was deeply loved and admired both as a player and person.
The new Irish League season will not be the same without Mousey's wit and wisdom warming the hearts of supporters.
Arthur Bartholomew Brady, who has passed away aged 88, was the final signing of Belfast Celtic before the famous club pulled out of the Irish League in 1949. He played for Crusaders at the start of their spell in the Irish League's top division in 1951.
Born in Belfast on July 12, 1927, the Hannahstown man also helped Derry City win the Irish Cup in 1954 but his proudest moment in a Crues shirt arrived in 1960 when the north Belfast men defeated Linfield in a Co Antrim Shield final replay at Solitude.
Arthur joked: "I must have got a good bonus for winning that because I was able to go and see Real Madrid win the European Cup at Hampden Park that year."
Arthur's love for Crusaders ran deep, so much so that he struggled to hold back tears when the Shore Road side were relegated to the Intermediate League in 2005.
But he predicted that the Crues would rise again and their golden era of success under Stephen Baxter left him bursting with pride. Before the 2012 Setanta Cup final between two of his former clubs, Arthur predicted in the Belfast Telegraph that the Crues would beat Derry City on penalties and after the game there was a twinkle in his eye as he boasted about his extraordinary knowledge of the game.
Everyone at Crusaders, where a players' lounge is named in Arthur's honour, has been left devastated by the sad news.
Chairman Stephen Bell paid a moving tribute, saying: "He was and is a legend at Seaview and will be sadly missed by everyone at the club. There are many wonderful stories about Arthur that have been told, and a lot of them came from the man himself, but his character and smile will sadly no longer be seen around the ground."
After retiring, Arthur continued to play in charity matches, joining greats such as Norman Pavis and Billy Neill in a Northern Ireland Showbiz XI, still showcasing the talents that haunted defenders.
Dundela legend Mervyn Bell recalls: "Arthur was a great character and personality. His stories are legendary and he was wonderful company. As a winger he would feint to the left or right and defenders had to take him out to stop him!"
Arthur could talk and he could play. He leaves us with so many special memories.