Sheffield United midfielder Maddy Cusack has died aged 27.
Cusack has been at the club since 2019 and became the first player to reach 100 appearances for the women’s team last season.
She also worked as a marketing executive at the Women’s Championship club, who said they were “devastated”.
“This is very sad news for everyone at Bramall Lane,” SAYS Sheffield United chief executive Stephen Bettis.
“Maddy is in a unique position to be part of many teams at Sheffield United and is popular with everyone she meets.
“His personality and professionalism made him a credit to his family – he will be sorely missed.
“While taking the news and moving forward, the club will offer as much support as possible to Maddy’s family, friends and colleagues.”
Cusack’s former clubs Birmingham, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest also paid tribute.
The Football Association’s director of women’s football, Baroness Sue Campbell, said English football’s governing body had contacted Sheffield United and offered them support at this “incredibly sad time”.
“On behalf of the FA, the Lionesses, the Women’s Super League and the Women’s Championship, our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to Maddy’s family, friends, team-mates and everyone at Sheffield United,” he said.
“Maddy has also represented England at age level and we will pay tribute to her at the appropriate point.”
Former Sheffield United men’s captain Billy Sharp posted a picture of himself and Cusack on X, formerly Twitter, with the caption: “Such a lovely girl. Enjoyed some amazing times with Maddy and the Blades. Such a sad loss. RIP Maddy.”