One of the good guys: Tributes to Cliftonville legend Tommy Breslin after sudden death
Tributes to 'one of the good guys' of local game
Cliftonville Football Club has said it is devastated at the passing of former manager Tommy Breslin.
In a short statement on Wednesday evening, the club offered its sympathies saying it would pay a full tribute to the 58-year-old in time but its thoughts were with the Breslin family and friends.
The Club will naturally pay full tribute to Tommy very soon, but at this moment in time our thoughts are very much with the Breslin family circle and his many friends, to whom we extend our most heartfelt sympathies.— Cliftonville FC (@cliftonvillefc) August 7, 2019
Rest in peace, Tommy. pic.twitter.com/wqMxwZ2uQd
Current Cliftonville manager Paddy McLaughin offered his condolences to his family and friends. He described him as a "true Cliftonville and Irish League legend".
Club record goalscorer Joe Gormley said news of his death was "heartbreaking" saying he was one of the nicest people he ever met.
"Thank you for everything Tommy it will never be forgotten."
Absolutely heartbreaking 💔 1 of the nicest guy I’ve ever met, thank you for everything Tommy it will never be forgotten ❤️ pic.twitter.com/l7xzsTfZ3W— Joe Gormley (@JoeGormley9) August 7, 2019
Breslin played midfield for the Red and as manager enjoyed unparalleled success at Solitude with consecutive league title wins in 2013 and 2014 before dramatically resigning in September 2015 citing work commitments.
In four-and-a-half years he won eight trophies making him the north Belfast club's most successful boss in its 140-year history.
As well as the Gibson Cup, he guided the club to three consecutive League Cup triumphs and two County Antrim Shield victories.
In the wake of a 6-1 defeat to Ballymena Breslin offered his resignation only for Cliftonville chairman Gerard Lawlor to reject it telling him to sleep on it thinking it was a knee-jerk reaction.
Mr Lawlor said he spent the next three days trying to change the manager's mind ultimately without success.
He later took temporary charge at Solitude in April 2017 after Gerard Lyttle's departure from the club.
He has been described as "one of the good guys of the local game".
Cliftonville supporters said he was a legend of the club.
"I cant believe this, was chatting to him just last month," said Mark Madden.
"Always be a Cliftonville legend."
Damian McCluskey added: "Awful. The tidiest of players, greatest manager and gentleman. Brought Reds our greatest days. Hero."
Christopher Bailie added: "He oversaw one of the happiest days of my life leading Cliftonville to back-to-back leagues. RIP Tommy B. Absolutely gutted."
Football fans from across Northern Ireland swarmed to social media to pay their respects and offer their condolences.
Jordan McKay said: "Horrible news. His Cliftonville side was one of the best the league has ever seen."
Colin Williams said: "Terrible news, always a gentleman, from a Blueman."
DUP leader Arlene Foster paid her respects.
"Such tragic news for local football. My thoughts and prayers are with Tommy’s family and all connected with Cliftonville FC," she tweeted.
The Irish FA is shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of former Cliftonville manager Tommy Breslin. A football man through and through, Tommy will be sorely missed. Condolences to his family and everyone connected with @cliftonvillefc pic.twitter.com/I307IiL5yc— Official Irish FA (@OfficialIrishFA) August 7, 2019
First and foremost Tommy Breslin was a very decent man, and one that as manager of Cliftonville, gave us the greatest side we have ever seen and to our most successful ever period, with a swashbuckling style.— Brian Smyth (@Briansmyth99) August 7, 2019
Deepest sympathy to his family. Tommy Breslin's Red and White Army. pic.twitter.com/00I4ctlvez
Just heard awful news about Cliftonville Legend, Tommy Breslin passing away. He oversaw one of the happiest days of my life leading Cliftonville to back to back leagues. RIP Tommy B. Absolutley gutted.— Christopher Bailie (@duff91) August 7, 2019
We are shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of former @cliftonvillefc manager Tommy Breslin this evening. On behalf of the manager, staff, players and officials of Ballymena United we extend our sympathies to the family and friends of a footballing gentleman. pic.twitter.com/MV0cGfXEZh— Ballymena United FC (@BallymenaUnited) August 7, 2019
So sad to hear about the passing of Tommy Breslin. We sat beside him on a flight yesterday and it was very clear how nice of a man he was. Terrible news.— Shane Todd (@shanetodd) August 7, 2019
Such tragic news for local football. My thoughts and prayers are with Tommy’s family and all connected with Cliftonville FC. https://t.co/uXLyShJYbo— Arlene Foster (@DUPleader) August 7, 2019
Belfast Telegraph Digital