Heartfelt message of thanks from Kevin Carey's wife

The post announcing his death
The post announcing his death

In a reflective and feeling post on a Facebook page set up to help Kevin Carey fight his brain tunour, his wife has thanked everyone she wishes she "could have spoken to" personally.

The day after hundreds of people turned out to celebrate the "bravest man we know" at his life celebration funeral mass, Natasha said on Sunday: "Yesterday we gave Kevin a send off like no other, to match his beautiful, bright, happy, personality."

Kevin Carey was laid to rest on Saturday

Kevin Carey was laid to rest on Saturday

Mourners travelled form as far away as Australia, England and across the island of Ireland to say their goodbyes to the passionate civil engineer and talented football player, who sadly lost his two-year battle with cancer on Wednesday.

The former Geda Construction employee was laid to rest in Portglenone on Saturday after Mass at St Oliver Plunkett's Church, Clady.

Paying tribute to the footballers and camogs who lined the roads in a guard of honour, Natasha spoke of the "sun shining down" as Kevin was carried past stunning views of the Sperrin Mountains to be greeted by the sound of uillean pipes at St Oliver Plunkets Church, Clady where hundreds of people waited inside and out.

"We had a beautiful service for Kevin, to celebrate his life," Natasha said.

He had been fighting a brain tumour since 2015

He had been fighting a brain tumour since 2015

Requiem Mass was led by Fr Thomas McDonnell who had also married the young couple and a homily delivered by Fr Curran, the local parish priest.

"Kevin it is an honour to be called your wife, and the greatest privilege to have loved you and been loved by you for 10 years, which remarkably, despite the past difficult 21 months, you said were the best 10 years of your life," Natasha said.

"Kevin and I loved each other more than couples together 80 years. Kevin's love of life inspired us all, especially throughout his courageous battle.

"Kevin's legacy will live on through his family, friends and all those who follow Kevin's story, to become better- more loving, more talented, more accepting, more laughter, more smiles, more alive."

She went on to say he taught everyone who knew him to "appreciate the simple things in life, no dramas, and to appreciate each moment".

"Kevin was the type of fella to look out at the stars when he locked the doors at night, and he loved sunsets," she added.

"A devoted loving husband, a wonderful son and brother / brother-in-law, a passionate civil engineer, an adventurous traveller, a loyal friend, a talented football player, and the bravest man we know. Kevin's place of rest, matches him, a sunny, stunningly beautiful, tranquil spot, with birds singing, and nature all around him.

"Life will never be the same again without Kevin, but I received advice from a talented musician, 'you will be left with a huge hole, from the loss of Kevin, and the only way you can fill that hole is with life'."

Thanking everyone who turned out for the brave soul, who was also honoured with a minute's silence by the Sydney football team for which he played in 2006, before their match on Sunday, Natasha continued: "Kevin was such a modest gentle soul who will be so humbled by this.

"I would like to thank each and everyone of you who came to Kevin's wake, and his Life Celebration Funeral Mass," she added. "Thank you for wearing such bright colours. Thank you for the distances you travelled and the support you gave us.

"I wish I could have spoke to, and, thanked each and everyone of you personally. I am so proud of Kevin and the huge turn out of wonderful people for him over the past few days.

"Thank you for all the local Portglenone businesses, and supermarkets for all the food, and those who organised the traffic and car park for Kevin's wake. Thank you to Willie-John O'Donnell, Priests, florists, musicians, Kevin's friends and Carey & Healey families . Thank you to each and everyone of you, who made Kevin's send of yesterday, such a special tribute to Kevin's life. A true role model. A true gentleman."