Tributes to popular Hatfield footballer, 31

PUBLISHED: 13:51 04 July 2013 | UPDATED: 13:52 04 July 2013

Ryan Moran

Ryan Moran

James Ronayne

TRIBUTES have been paid to much-loved footballer and postman Ryan Moran, who died this week aged just 31.

The popular Hatfield man’s friends and colleagues spoke of the former St Albans City and Chesham United centre-half’s courage in battling the cancer, which claimed his life on Monday morning.

A charity football match will be held in celebration of the married 31-year-old’s life on Sunday.

A friend of the former Onslow St Audrey’s schoolboy, Adam Parker, said: “It’s more of a celebration of his life on Sunday.

“The money raised will be going to the Isabel Hospice, where Ryan passed away.

“I think we will see quite a number of people down there [at the match].”

Paying tribute to his friend, Mr Parker added: “He was a great man, courageous to the end with what he had to deal with.

“He dealt with it with dignity.

“He was a great footballer and a great cricketer – he was just one of those people.

“He was a top level centre-half and a great friend.”

He added: “Everyone is going to miss him, I think there will be quite a big turnout in Hatfield – he was loved.”

And Chesham United manager Andy Leese wrote on the club’s website on Monday: “I have very sad news to share today.

“Ryan passed away this morning at the Isabel Hospice, in WGC.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, his parents, his sister, extended family and friends.

“It is a tragic unimaginable loss to his family at just 31 years of age.

“We are all devastated within the club having lost a fantastic guy, a friend and a top class footballer way too early in life.

“We have seen him in the last few days and he was in good spirits, notwithstanding his serious illness.

“He fought his illness as he lived his life, with integrity, dignity, courage and fortitude.”

He added: “Rest in peace big man.”

St Albans City joint manager James Gray tweeted his condolences.

“Sad day for everyone who knew him, great lad, a real character in the dressing room and on the pitch,” he wrote.

The charity football match will be held at Birchwood Leisure Centre, in Longmead, Hatfield, with kick-off at 1pm.

There will also be a raffle.

A team called ‘Ryan’s Postie’s XI’ will play an Arsenal celebrity XI.

And afterwards a concert will be held at the Hatfield Social Club, in Great North Road, featuring bands The Good, The Bad and The Ginger and The Revivals from 4pm to 7pm.

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