Maddy Cusack: Ex-Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp pays tribute after tragic death

Ex-Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp has paid tribute to the club's longest-serving female player, after news of her sad death emerged.
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Maddy Cusack, who became the first female player to reach 100 appearances for the club and was named vice-captain last month, tragically died on Wednesday.  She was just 27 years old.

Billy Sharp, who is currently playing for US team LA Galaxy, tweeted: "Such a lovely girl, enjoyed some amazing times with Maddy and the Blades. Such a sad loss. RIP Maddy."

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He posted the message along with a photograph of himself and Maddy celebrating at a party, a tear face emoji and the Blades' emblem.

Floral tributes had been placed at Bramall Lane, alongside a Sheffield United shirt, as a sign of respect for Maddy. One reads: "Bright, funny and talented. Gone far too soon. We will miss you Maddy."

A white lantern, inscribed with the player's shirt number said "#8 forever".

Maddy's brother, Paul Cusak, also paid a heartbreaking tribute to his 'beautiful sister' after her shock death.

He said: "My beautiful sister. May you rest in peace."

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Maddy had just started her sixth year with the South Yorkshire side and had spoken of her excitement for the new season in her most recent Instagram post.

Hailed as a 'pure talent' by those who played with her, Maddy also worked as a marketing executive at the club, who said they were 'devastated' by her passing. Her cause of death has not yet been disclosed.

Meanwhile, tributes have been paid by professional football clubs across the country with message from Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City, Arsenal, Coventry City, Port Vale, Ipswich Town, Doncaster Rovers, Luton Town, Newcastle United and Barnsley FC among the many.

Ecclesall Primary School shared a photo on social media of Maddy smiling with schoolchildren along with the caption: "We are really saddened to hear that footballer Maddy Cusack died earlier this week aged just 27. 

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"Maddy was one of three players from Sheffield United who came to inspire girls to play football at a joint event with Sheffield Girls' in March 2023 (in the falling snow)! Our thoughts are with her family, friends and the wider Sheffield United, Sheffield United Women community. A really inspirational woman!".

Sue Campbell, the FA's director of women's football, said: "We are all devastated to learn about the passing of Maddy Cusack. On behalf of the FA, the Lionesses, the Women's Super League and the Women's Championship, our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Maddy's family, friends, teammates and everyone at Sheffield United. 

"Maddy also represented England at age-group level and we will pay tribute to her at an appropriate point. We are in contact with the club and will continue to offer them our full support during this incredibly sad time."

Several of the Lionesses squad have shared tributes, including captain Leah Williamson who wrote: "Sending all my love and condolences to Maddy's family at this awful time!"

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