Belfast Telegraph

Carrick Rangers chairman Peter Clarke: 'We have offered counselling to players following death of Jerry Thompson'

Support: Carrick Rangers chairman Peter Clarke
Support: Carrick Rangers chairman Peter Clarke

By Steven Beacom

Carrick Rangers chairman Peter Clarke has said the players will be given all the support they need in the aftermath of the sudden death of teammate Jerry Thompson.

Manager Niall Currie and his team met last night to talk about their memories of the late 24-year-old who had become a firm favourite in the dressing room after joining in the summer.

Currie told the Belfast Telegraph on Thursday that all the players and staff were heartbroken at Jerry's passing.

Clarke is determined that if anyone connected with the football club needs counselling or professional help in dealing with the tragedy it will be there for them.

"Our focus is on Jerry's family and also our players and staff and making sure they get whatever help they need," he said.

"As a club we have to make sure the welfare of our players and staff is taken care of.

"We have received unbelievable support from different groups who have offered counselling and support to everyone at the club and we thank them for that.

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"We have counsellors and support lined up and will take them through the steps that we have been given by the experts to make sure they are as well looked after as possible.

"We have to make sure everyone is okay going forward."

Carrick normally train on a Thursday but last night they were planning on a period of reflection and remembering their popular teammate.

The club's league match against Cliftonville at Solitude at the weekend was postponed as a mark of respect to Jerry.

His funeral will take place tomorrow in Belfast at 9am in Sacred Heart Church followed by burial in Belmont Cemetery, Antrim.

A fundraising page set up to support Jerry's family has raised more than £2,000.

Meanwhile the Irish FA is hoping more clubs will participate in their Ahead Of The Game mental health programme. The course aims to support clubs and volunteers when dealing with mental health issues. To date, 98 football clubs in Northern Ireland have been represented on the course.

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