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Shock at sudden passing of Reds legend Breslin

Tributes have been paid following the death of former Cliftonville player and manager Tommy Breslin, who died suddenly on holiday aged 58.
 Tributes have been paid following the death of former Cliftonville player and manager Tommy Breslin, who died suddenly on holiday aged 58.
By Paddy Tierney

THE local football community was plunged into mourning last night at the sudden passing of Cliftonville legend Tommy Breslin at the age of 58.
The former Reds player and manager died while on a family holiday in Spain.
Breslin famously guided Cliftonville to back-to-back Irish League titles in 2013 and 2014 and won eight trophies in a hugely successful four-year spell at Solitude.
In the summer of 2013, he was at the helm when Cliftonville took on Celtic over two legs in an historic Champions League Qualifier.
He returned to the club on an interim basis following the departure of his successor Gerard Lyttle at the end of the 2017 campaign while he was also a revered midfielder in his playing days at the club.
Social media was awash with tributes last night as fans and rival supporters alike paid tribute to one of the game’s most affable and popular figures.
Having updated their social media feeds to include a picture of their iconic former boss, Cliftonville posted a statement which read: “Cliftonville Football Club are devastated to this evening learn of the sudden and untimely death of Tommy Breslin.
“While the club will naturally pay a fuller tribute to Tommy very soon, at the moment in time our thoughts are very much with the Breslin family circle and all of his many friends, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy.”
Lyttle, who was also part of Breslin’s backroom team before taking over the Cliftonville hotseat, tweeted: “Shocked and saddened to hear – one of the nicest men I’ve ever known. They say God only takes the best young and by God he was that. RIP my friend, my Gaffer. Forever in my thoughts.”
Andrew Johnston, Managing Director of the NI Football League said: ““We are deeply shocked at the sad news of the sudden death of Tommy Breslin.
“He was a hugely popular figure in local football circles and will be fondly remembered as the first manager to win the Premiership title after the formation of NIFL in 2013.
“On behalf of the NI Football League, we would like to wish our sincere condolences to the Breslin family and Tommy’s friends at this sad time.”
In a statement, the Irish FA added: “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 Cliftonville FC.”
The Reds are due to take on Coleraine at the Showgrounds in their season opener this Saturday. However, it is not known if the fixture will go ahead.

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