Former Liverpool great Jamie Carragher has paid tribute to Neil Marshall after he lost his battle with cancer.
A lifelong Liverpool supporter, the ex-Lancaster City captain was aged just 31 when he passed away on Wednesday.
Marshall fulfilled a dream of his earlier this year when he got the chance to play alongside Carragher and other Liverpool legends such as John Aldridge, Robbie Fowler and Alan Kennedy during a charity game.
“It was a pleasure to have met Neil,” Carragher said.
“He was a great lad who had been a brilliant servant to Lancaster City and was a massive Liverpool fan.
“I know playing in that game with the legends gave him and his family a real lift at a difficult time. It was an honour for us to have him as part of our team.
“I was speaking to his family after the game and they’re lovely people. It’s such sad news and my thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”
Marshall’s death has been met with shock and sorrow across the local footballing community and beyond.
One of his former team-mates Andrew Teague admitted he is still coming to terms with his friend’s passing.
The current Chorley captain played alongside Marshall in the Dolly Blues defence for three years before moving to Victory Park in 2011 and the pair struck up a lasting friendship.
“Neil was one of my best friends in football,” Teague said. “We were expecting it but did not not expect it to come when it did. It’s hard to think that he’s no longer with us.
“We just clicked when we were together at Lancaster City and even after I left.
“When you leave a club, you don’t often keep in touch with the lads you leave behind but I did with Marshy.
“I’ve been to his children’s christenings. The last time I saw him was at Mark Jackson’s (ex-team-mate) wedding up in the Lakes. We had a great night.
“When you spoke to Neil, he would always say he was fine – he would never complain despite what he was going through.”
As well as being former team-mates, Marshall and Teague also came up against each other on several occasions when the Magpies clashed with the Dolly Blues .
The most recent of those meetings came last season when Chorley defeated Lancaster after after nailbiting penalty shoot-out in the final of the LFA Challenge Trophy at Bolton Wanderers Macron Stadium.
“Obviously I wanted to win the final, but if I wasn’t going to win it then I would have wanted him to win it,” Teague added.
“When we won it, the first person I went over to was Marshy. If anybody deserved to hold the trophy up, it was him.
“He was still playing well for Lancaster last season.
“As a player, he would give everything – everything he did was 100%.”