Poignant farewell to 'likeable and lively' teen footballer Max Wilson
Tributes have been paid to 17-year-old Co Down footballer Max Wilson who died suddenly at the weekend.
Max was one of Alan and Kathy Wilson's three children and brother to Tia and Molly.
He was described by his football club Rathfriland FC as "one of our club’s most promising young stars".
The 17-year-old was a past pupil of Rathfriland High School who sent their thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.
His funeral took place on Thursday in Rathfriland Presbyterian Church followed by burial in the adjoining cemetary.
He was the third generation of his family to play for Rathfriland FC.
The club said: "Nothing made his father Alan and grandfather Sammy more proud than seeing him following in their footsteps by pulling on the white shirt every Saturday.
"Football was Max’s passion in life and in rain, hail or shine he was always certain to be there.
"Max was a likeable and lively character, winning many end-of-season awards throughout his youth career, and he also represented the under-13 Mid-Ulster Select Team at the Foyle Cup."
The day before he died, he played his final game against Cleary Celtic.
"As usual he didn't pull out of any tackles, he hit his opposition hard and he came away with his trademark yellow card," said a spokesperson for the club.
"Max will be sorely missed and we ask everyone to look after and support each other, particularly his family, friends and young teammates who are struggling to come to terms with this terrible tragedy.
"This week a dark cloud hangs over Iveagh Park. It is almost impossible to comprehend our club without Max but he will always be remembered by us for his outstanding talent on the pitch and infectious character off it."
The Mid Ulster Youth League said: "It is with a very heavy heart that we share the news of the sudden passing of one of our former Foyle Cup players Max Wilson, aged 17.
"Max was an integral part of the squad in 2014.
"The league would like to pass on our sincere condolences to the entire Wilson family circle."
Belfast Telegraph Digital