Tyrone hurler Damian Casey has died in an accident in Spain.
It is believed the 29-year-old was attending a wedding and had an accident at a swimming pool.
He played for Eoghan Ruadh GAA club in Dungannon and at inter-county level for Tyrone senior hurling team.
The team’s manager Michael McShane described Mr Casey as a true gentleman and one of the finest players he had managed. He said the team was “rocked to our very core”.
Speaking to BBC Sport, he said:
“His loss is incalculable; on behalf of Tyrone hurling management we extend our deepest sympathies to the Casey family.”
In a statement Tyrone GAA said they were “totally shaken” by the news, describing Mr Casey as “a supreme hurler… at the peak of his powers”.
Tyrone county chair Michael Kerr said he brought “honour, delight and gladness to the whole county and far beyond”.
“There are very difficult days ahead for Sean, Susan, Louise and Catherine, for Damian’s wider family circle and many friends and associates, for his team-mates and for the Gaels of Dungannon and Tyrone,” he added.
“Our deepest sympathy goes to them, and our focus must now be on providing the support and comfort that will be so badly needed”.
‘Unlikely to be surpassed’
Damian Casey was the heartbeat of Tyrone hurling for the last decade.
After making his inter-county debut in 2012, he went on to play more than 100 consecutive league and championship games and is by some stretch, the county’s most prolific scorer of all time.
His career tally of 39 goals and 906 points is never likely to be surpassed.
She said Mr Casey was “possibly the best hurler ever in Tyrone”.
“His death is devastating for the county, but unimaginable for Sean, Susan, Louise and Catherine,” she added.
‘Magician of rare skill’
The news of Mr Casey’s death prompted tributes from the GAA community via Twitter.
Ulster University Gaelic Academy said: “We are profoundly saddened to learn of the tragic death of Damian, esteemed graduate of UU and Fitzgibbon hurler.
“We extend our deepest sympathy and offer our sincere condolences to the entire family circle at this very sad time.”