Neill Rimmer has led the tributes to former Wigan Athletic defender Matty Carragher, who has died from cancer at the age of 40.
Carragher was a product of the prolific Springfield Park production line, making his debut in 1993 and scoring three times in 145 appearances for Latics during his four-year stay.
He was just a good lad, very hard-working, and the kind you really wanted to do wellNeill Rimmer
The highlight was helping Latics win the Division Three title on goal difference from Fulham in 1996-97, his last season with the club.
Carragher then moved on to Port Vale, making almost 250 appearances for the Valiants, whom he captained to Football League Trophy success in 2001 against Brentford.
The Liverpudlian ended his career with spells at Stafford Rangers and Macclesfield, hanging up his boots in 2005.
“Matty came through the ranks just after Peter Atherton and Joe Parkinson, part of another very promising group of young players,” Rimmer told the Evening Post.
“I actually played alongside him more than most people would remember, because I played a lot of games in the youth team on my way back from injuries.
“I remember Matty as a very confident lad, full of enthusiasm, who quickly got himself into the first team - and deservedly so.
“Obviously you hoped he’d stay longer at Wigan but, as was the case at the time, so many of the talented young lads had to go for the good of the club.
“He was just a good lad, very hard-working, and the kind you really wanted to do well.”
Rimmer also remembers Carragher’s influence at the club being felt just as much off the field as on it.
“The thing that sticks in my mind is that they came as a family,” Rimmer added.
“His mum and dad would follow him to games all over the country, home and away.
“It was very much like that at the time, same with my mum and dad, same with Alan Johnson, same with Allen Tankard.
“Everyone was part of it, the players and the families mixed, like one big family.
“I’m sure his mum and dad would have been so proud to see the career he made for himself.
“It’s so very sad to hear the news, at such a young age.”