Sheffield United women’s squad in disbelief as late vice-captain Maddy Cusack’s ‘broken’ team-mates share heartfelt tributes to their inspirational 27-year-old teammate.

Maddy Cusack’s Sheffield United team-mates have paid tribute to the midfielder after it was announced on Thursday that she had tragically passed away. 

The 27-year-old, who was a popular figure among the team, had been named vice-captain of the side just last month.

She enjoyed spells at Birmingham City and Aston Villa before signing for the Blades who currently play in the Women’s Championship in 2019. 

Having spent six seasons with the Blades, Cusack became the first player to make 100 appearances for the women’s side back in February and was the longest-serving player in their current squad.

A statement on the club’s official website read: ‘Sheffield United Football Club is devastated to report the sad news of the passing of Maddy Cusack.

Sheffield United midfielder Maddy Cusack has died at the age of 27, the club have announced

The former talented midfielder had just started her sixth season with the club being named vice-captain earlier this year

The former talented midfielder had just started her sixth season with the club being named vice-captain earlier this year 

Tributes have been coming in for the Sheffield United midfielder from her team-mates

Tributes have been coming in for the Sheffield United midfielder from her team-mates 

‘Maddy, a women’s team player since January 2019 and marketing executive for the Football Club, passed away on Wednesday.

‘A respected player, Maddy, 27, last season reached the milestone of 100 appearances for Sheffield United Women.

‘Additionally, she was a valued colleague in the offices at Bramall Lane, moving over from the Sheffield United Community Foundation to the club in 2021 to help market all areas of the Blades.’

Tributes have been coming in for the Sheffield United midfielder, with her brother saying: ‘My beautiful sister. May you rest in peace Maddy.’

Her Blades’ team-mates have also been speaking on their colleague, with goalkeeper Beth Davies writing on Twitter that she was: ‘Heartbroken. 

‘There aren’t words to say how much you’ll be missed, Mads,’ she added.

Defender Molly Graham wrote: ‘Absolutely devastating news. Such a great person and team-mate. You will be missed hugely! Rest in peace Mads.’

Cusack had also worked as a marketing executive with the Blades and had also signed a new contract extension with the club in January, saying: ‘I think everyone knows how much I love this club. This club is my home.’

Charlotte Newsham also wrote on Twitter: ‘Beyond broken and shocked to have lost a team-mate and good friend. We will miss you so much Mads.’ 

Sophie Haywood, who joined the club in 2022 and also played in midfield, posted several pictures of herself and Cusack on her social media channels while writing: ‘Heartbroken and beyond words.

‘I hope you know the impact you have had on me and so many others on and off the pitch. A true professional and such a genuine person. You are loved by many and will be so so missed Mads. Rest easy MC8.’

Fran Stenson also posted a photo of her team-mate, writing: ‘I’ll always remember the good times we’ve had together. Gone far too soon. I hope we do you proud Maddy. May you rest in peace.’

 

Her team-mates, including Sophie Haywood, Tara Bourne, Charley Docherty, Beth Davies and Molly Graham have all paid tribute to the midfielder on social media

Her team-mates, including Sophie Haywood, Tara Bourne, Charley Docherty, Beth Davies and Molly Graham have all paid tribute to the midfielder on social media

The Football Association is also in contact with Sheffield United over an appropriate tribute to Cusack, with England’s Lionesses, who are scheduled to play against Scotland on Friday, set to show their respects to Cusack. 

Baroness Sue Campbell said that that organisation was offering it’s support to the football club.  

‘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, team-mates and everyone at Sheffield United,’ the FA’s director of women’s football said. 

Cusack’s team-mate Charley Docherty also spoke of how as an academy player she had ‘looked up to Cusack’. 

She wrote on social media: ‘When I was 16, Maddy was the player that all us girls from the academy looked up to.

‘It’s been an honour to call her my team-mate and my friend. An amazing person who was an inspiration to all the little girls and boys who come to the Lane. RIP Mads. You will be forever missed.’

Blades’ defender Tara Bourne also wrote on social media: ‘Lost for words. The most beautiful and kind soul, taken far too soon. May you rest in peace, Mads.’   

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