Mansfield Town have paid tribute to “fantastic leader” Ryan Evans after the 18-year-old died recently at home.
Striker Evans was the captain of Stags’ U18s performance group and had recently accepted a place in the U21s squad for the season ahead.
A statement released on the club website expressed how deeply saddened those at the One Call Stadium were to learn of Evans’s passing.
Chief executive officer Carolyn Radford said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of Ryan’s passing; a young and talented footballer who was looking forward to U21s football with us next season.
“To lose someone so young is heartbreaking for Ryan’s family and as a club we will support them in every way we can. Our heartfelt thoughts are with Ryan’s loved ones, whilst we will remember Ryan and his family in our prayers.”
His coach Jamie McGuire added: “We are all desperately sorry to learn of this news and our thoughts and prayers are sent to Ryan’s family at this sad time.
“As a player, Ryan was a fantastic leader, always willing to learn and had a never-ending enthusiasm to do the best he could. It was for these reasons, amongst others, that I made him my captain last season.
“We’ll remember him as a smiling young man, with a great energy and charm.”