TRIBUTES have been paid to former Antrim footballer Frankie Wilson who has passed away after a battle with cancer.
 
The Lámh Dhearg clubman was described by Derry All-Ireland football winner Joe Brolly as “an incredible sportsman” and "a wonderful human being".
 
Frankie not only excelled on the Gaelic football pitch but he was also an accomplished soccer player. He was the head of PE at Our Lady and St Patrick's College in Belfast.

 

Antrim GAA paid tribute to the 52-year-old.

“CLG Aontroma send our heartfelt condolences on the sad news that former Antrim Gael Frankie Wilson has sadly passed away after a great battle with illness.

“Deepest sympathy to his family and friends from all of us and everyone throughout the county. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

Frankie was inducted into the Lámh Dhearg Hall of Fame on Monday of this week where he was described as a “great battler on and off the pitch”.

A club statement this morning read: "It is with great sadness we learn of the passing of Frankie Wilson, following his courageous battle with illness. A great Gael who gave so much on the field both as a player and as a mentor. Rest in peace Frankie."

The NI Football League said it was saddened by the passing of the Banbridge Town manager who was also managed the U-18 Northern Ireland schoolboys.

In the Irish League the West Belfast man played for Cliftonville, Carrick Rangers, Ballyclare Comrades, Omagh Town and Bangor. He also managed Sport & Leisure Swifts amongst others.
 
Paying tribute Gerard Lawlor, NIFL Chief Executive said: “Frankie was a much loved and respected figure in the Irish League for many years as a player and a manager. His courage and fighting spirit in recent months was reflective of how he played and enjoyed the game on the pitch.

“Our thoughts are with the Wilson family circle and everyone connected with Banbridge Town Football Club at this sad time.”

In a statement Glenavy club Crewe United FC said: “We are very sad to learn this morning of the passing of our former player and friend, Frankie Wilson. A superb sports person and footballer, but an even better man. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time. Rest in peace Frankie.”