Belfast Telegraph

Derry council consults on naming stadium after Ryan McBride

By Donna Deeney

The sister of late Derry City captain Ryan McBride has called on everyone living within the council area to vote on renaming the Brandywell in his honour.

Derry and Strabane District Council, which owns the stadium, has launched an online survey to give the public a say over whether the name should be changed to the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

McBride played 177 games for Derry City and wore the captain's armband 57 times.

He died suddenly in March last year.

The idea of naming the stadium in his honour was proposed and discussed by the council last October.

While no final decision on renaming the stadium was made, it was agreed to engage in wider consultation.

As part of this process an online survey opened this week and will be available until July to allow the public to vote either 'yes' or 'no' on the renaming of the Candystripes' home.

Caitlin McBride said: "We have met with councillors, met with Derry City, held a public meeting and visited every home in the Brandywell to get signatures in support.

"We have the support of the Brandywell residents and Derry City Football Club, but it seems this isn't enough.

"It does feel a bit distasteful, as it is like a popularity contest for Ryan, who isn't with us, and we are still mourning his loss every day.

"The threshold for the vote to succeed is high as it is 66%, when normally a majority of over 50% is accepted in any other vote, as it was in major referenda such as Brexit and Scottish independence.

"However, it is what it is, and as a family we have the same determination that Ryan was revered for and we will work to make this a success.

"Ryan was Derry City through and through - a fan, a player and a captain - and it would make us immensely proud if the stadium had his name on it."

Signage encouraging participation in the consultation process will be erected at the Brandywell and residents living in the area of the ground will receive leaflets and information through their local parish bulletins and community notice boards.

The survey will be available for a 12-week period running until July 1 and will be available via the council's website at www.derrystrabane.com/brandywell.

The results will then come before members of the council's governance and strategic planning committee in the autumn for consideration.

Belfast Telegraph

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