Jerry Thompson death: Outpouring of grief for Carrick Rangers' player
Tributes have been paid to Carrick Rangers' player Jerry Thompson following his sudden death.
The club announced the passing of the 24-year-old in a statement on Tuesday, December 10.
"Carrick Rangers Football Club is saddened by the very untimely sudden passing earlier today of our friend and player Gerard Thompson," the statement said.
"Gerard, or Jerry as he was more affectionately known, joined the club earlier this season and became an instant hit with his teammates and our supporters.
"He was a larger than life character who brought a fantastic energy and commitment to our club.
"Although he was only with us for a short time, he will be fondly remembered by everyone associated with Carrick Rangers FC.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Jerry's family and friends at this difficult and sad time.
"Rest in peace, Jerry. You will forever be a member of the Amber Army. #JT21."
Carrick's game against Cliftonville at the weekend has been postponed out of respect for Thompson, as have Carrick Under-18s' and Under-16s' matches against Linfield.
Mr Thompson joined Carrick at the end of August.
He began his Irish League career with Cliftonville before moving to Larne where he spent two seasons before moving to Portadown.
He joined Ards at the beginning of the season playing twice before moving to Carrick's Loughshore Hotel Arena. He also had a spell with Donegal Celtic.
On Tuesday night he was named in the starting line-up for his side's game against Glenavon. However, he did not feature in the tie.
Carrick boss Niall Currie said he was heart broken at the death of the left wing back saying it was an "absolute pleasure" to have worked with him.
"Forever you will be in my heart young man," he added.
Teammate Guillame Keke posted a picture of the player with the simple message: "I love you."
— Keke Guillaume (@GuillaumeKeke) December 10, 2019
I love you pic.twitter.com/2GihZNZaLn
Mr Thompson recently became a new father with the birth of his son seven months ago.
Tributes flowed on social media from right across the football community and beyond.
Portadown Football Club said all at the club were devastated and heartbroken to learn of the death.
"Our prayers and condolences are with Jerry's family, friends and teammates at this difficult time," the club added.
The Irish Football Association also offered its condolences as too did many local clubs.
Larne Football Club paid tribute detailing how he helped the club to the Irish Cup semi-final and was its player of the season in the 2017/18 campaign.
"Jerry was a hugely popular player at the club, during his two full seasons at Inver Park," the club said.
"He was a tenacious, committed and gifted player who never gave less than 100%. It was no surprise that this endeared him to the club’s fans.
"He will be both sorely missed and fondly by those who knew him."
Coleraine manager Oran Kearney also added his own heartfelt tribute to Thompson.
— Oran Kearney (@OranKearney) December 11, 2019
Crazy news about young Jerry Thompson, thoughts with his family and teammates at this tough time �������� #ItsOkNotToBeOk
It's not a weakness to reach out, you haven't failed, you're normal, it affects us all at different moments in our lives.. #dontbeafraidtotakethemaskoff pic.twitter.com/mu6Ah38NeF
Belfast Telegraph Digital