A one-minute silence was observed before last night’s County Antrim Shield tie against H&W Welders at Taylor’s Avenue following the death of former Carrick Rangers player Stuart Hilditch.
Stuart, who began his career as goalkeeper with his hometown club, died on Tuesday morning after a courageous battle with illness.
In a statement, Carrick Rangers FC said it was ”deeply saddened by the untimely passing of former player and supporter Stuart Hilditch”.
The club added: “A Carrickfergus native, Stuart was a supporter of his hometown club along with his brother Michael and father David.
“He will be missed by everyone at Carrick Rangers Football Club and we extend our sincere sympathies and thoughts to the Hilditch family circle at this time.
“Rest in peace, Stuart. You will forever be a member of the Amber Army.”
Stuart went to play with other clubs in the East Antrim area including Barn Utd, Islandmagee and Wellington Rec.
Barn Utd FC stated: “As a club we are saddened at the news that former player Stuart Hilditch passed away this morning. We would like to pass on our condolences to the entire Hilditch family and friends of Stuart. In the arms of Jesus big man sleep tight.”
Wellington Rec said: “Everyone associated with Wellington Rec FC would like to pass on all our condolences to the Hilditch family on the passing of our former player Stuart this morning. May he rest in peace.”
A father of three, Stuart was also a former council worker and part-time firefighter.
A celebration of his life will take place this Friday at Victoria Evangelical Hall, Carrickfergus, from 1pm.