Tributes paid to Brandywell legend Smokey Hasson - lifelong footballer, fan and singer

Tributes have been paid to one of the city's most legendary football characters Paddy 'Smokey Maradonna' Hasson, who died suddenly today.

Mr Hasson, who was in his seventies, was involved in soccer throughout his life as a junior player and fan.

From the heart of the Brandywell, he was famous for being able to drop everything and turn out for a game if asked - sometimes several times a day - even up until his 60s.

Former international football star Jobby Crossan, who knew Mr Hasson from childhood, said he was 'so saddened' to hear about his death.

"If there is a heaven, Paddy has to be there," he said. "He was genuinely lovely human being.

"You talk about legends, well, Paddy Hasson was a true Brandywell legend. He loved his football and he loved to sing. We played many times together in friendlies - I remember him scoring a cracking goal for Long Tower way back. He was such a good, innocent person. Nobody would have anything other than good to say about him."

Mr Hasson is predeceased by his wife Elizabeth and children Patrick and Colm. He is survived by seven sons, three daughters, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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