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Tributes paid to 'gentleman' ex-footballer Thomas Burke at funeral service

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Bronagh Burke, centre at the funeral of her husband Thomas who played for Trojans football team in Londonderry

Bronagh Burke, centre at the funeral of her husband Thomas who played for Trojans football team in Londonderry

Thomas Burke

Thomas Burke

Bronagh Burke, centre at the funeral of her husband Thomas who played for Trojans football team in Londonderry

Mourners at the funeral of a former footballer from Londonderry were told he was someone who "loved life and lived it to the full".

Thomas Burke (29), who had played for a number of football teams, including Ballymena United, Derry City and Trojans, suffered a suspected heart attack at his Creggan home last Thursday.

Paramedics administered first aid before transferring him to Altnagelvin Hospital where he later passed away.

Mr Burke's coffin, covered with a Trojans flag, was carried into St Mary's Church in Creggan past a Guard of Honour by members of the club he coached.

While only Mr Burke's immediate family were present in the church due to lockdown restrictions, Fr Daniel McFaul welcomed hundreds via webcam.

He described Mr Burke's death as a "never-ending nightmare" for his family including his wife, Bronagh, twins Adam and Aoife, parents and sister.

After paying tribute to Mr Burke's commitment to coaching young footballers and supporting people with learning disabilities, Fr McFaul said: "Thomas was a gentleman, a true gentleman, a beautiful person, fun loving who loved life and lived it to the full."

Belfast Telegraph