Paul McGrath pays emotional tribute to mother and ‘best friend’ Betty following her death
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Paul McGrath pays emotional tribute to mother and ‘best friend’ Betty following her death

FORMER MANCHESTER United and Aston Villa legend Paul McGrath has paid a heartfelt tribute to his late mother Betty following her sad passing. 

The Republic of Ireland World Cup hero confirmed the sad loss of his “best friend” in a message posted to Twitter alongside an image of them together. 

"Last night I lost my best friend,"” he wrote. 

“My beautiful mum Betty passed away peacefully and today my heart is breaking.  

"I owe everything to her. Sleep well Mum, love you. Paul x." 

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The message was accompanied by a link to the Van Morrison song Days Like This. 

Several fellow Irish legends were quick to comment with messages of condolence and support for the former defender. 

Ireland’s all-time top scorer, Robbie Keane, responded simply “Thinking of you pal.” 

Fellow Ireland international Stephen Elliott echoed those sentiments adding: “Sorry to hear. RIP.” 

Kevin Kilbane wrote “Ah Paul. I’m so sorry for your loss. God bless.” 

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BBC commentator and pundit Mark Lawrenson, who played for Ireland alongside McGrath, also posted an emotional response. 

“Hi Boss-Sorry about your Loss it’s almost a year since I lost my Mum...Still feel part of me is Missing,” he wrote. 

“Keep Going Mate.” 

There was also a message from current Aston Villa star and former Ireland youth player Jack Grealish 

“So sorry for your loss Paul,” he said.  

“May she rest in peace. Much love.” 

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One of the most emotive responses came from Ireland fan Stuart llew who shared two pictures of a proud-as-punch Betty welcoming McGrath home following the 1990 World Cup. 

Betty's passing comes just a few months after the death of Jack Charlton, McGrath's manager during his time with the Ireland national team and someone he described as a "Father figure for 10 years".