Swans boss Brendan Rodgers pays tribute as father loses cancer fight
Swansea City football manager Brendan Rodgers made it home to Northern Ireland in time to be by his father Malachy's side when he passed away over the weekend.
The Carnlough man's father had been suffering from cancer and tragically died on Saturday aged 59, following a long fight with the disease.
His death comes after Rodgers' mother Christina also died from a cancer-related illness last year aged just 53.
The Premier League manager missed his club's away match at Arsenal on Saturday, but assistant manager Colin Pascoe was in touch with him, and reported that he was "proud of the way the lads played and performed".
Swansea City's players wore black armbands during the match in memory of Mr Rodgers' father.
Losing both of his parents within a year of each other will come as a heavy blow to the former Republic of Ireland schoolboy international. The 38-year-old Swans boss had previously said his success was down to his parents' good influence and that he had learned how to work hard by following their example.
The eldest of five brothers who grew up in the picturesque Antrim coast village, Mr Rodgers travelled to Africa with a team of people from the football league in June to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.
The football boss dedicated the challenge of climbing the highest mountain in Africa to his parents, in recognition of their brave battles with cancer.
He paid tribute to them both.
"He and my mother set in place the values and morals that are with us to this day.
"They were the best role models we could have had," he said.
Mr Rodgers will take some time to grieve and will be back at work in due course, hoping to build on the major success he has had with the Welsh club.
In his first season as manager, the Swans were promoted to the Premier League, the first time they have been in the top division since 1983.