This is Mark and if you wish to read the story,its behind the cut.
BY MARK McKELVEY
A WEEK-LONG search for missing Omagh man, Mark Lynch ended in tragic circumstances on Tuesday evening when his body was recovered from a river near his home.
Friends of the popular 34-year-old have spoken of their shock and sadness at the development and hundreds of emotional messages in his memory have been pouring into social networking site Facebook during the past few days.
The talented footballer, who is from Farmhill Meadows near Killyclogher, was last seen shortly after 11pm on Tuesday January 19 when he left his home to walk to the home of his mother, Joslyn Irwin, at Hospital Road.
Mr Lynch would normally have followed a route via the Lovers' Retreat and the riverbank, but sadly he never arrived.
At around 5.30pm on Tuesday, Rivers Agency staff assisting in the search spotted his body submerged in the Camowen River at Killyclogher Road, close to the Tyrone County Hospital.
Police are not treating the death as suspicious and said a post-mortem examination will be carried out prior to the funeral, which will take place on Friday morning at Elim Pentecostal Church in Castlederg.
Mr Lynch, who recently had his second child, was well-known throughout the area and had a distinguished football career playing for Beragh Swifts in the Fermanagh and Western League for some 18 years.
The former High School pupil was also noted as an accomplished music producer and dance DJ, and was said to have been extremely proud when his song 'Paraglide' was played on Dave Pearces's Dance anthems show on BBC Radio One in January 2008.
Richard Lyons, Chairman of Beragh Swifts FC and a lifelong friend of Mr Lynch, said the club and the entire Hospital Road community is "numb with shock" at news of his death.
"Growing up you would rarely see Mark without a football, he was always rounding people up for a game in the community centre. I have lost a very close friend and everyone who knew Mark will miss him dearly," said Richard.
"Mark was a very talented footballer who has been with the club for 18 years; he was still playing for our reserves this season. We knew something was very badly wrong last week when he didn't reply to texts about the game last Saturday as usually when you contact him about football he is back to you within a matter of minutes."
Richard said Mr Lynch's tragic loss will touch the whole district, and remarked that anyone who has been involved with local soccer during the past couple of decades would have known him well.
Passing on his thoughts and prayers to Mark's family, Richard said, "On behalf of the club I would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Mark's entire family. We have lost a close friend. He will be remembered with great admiration and love by all who knew him."
Within hours of the confirmation of Mark's death a Facebook tribute was created, providing all those who knew and loved Mark with an avenue to express their grief at his tragic loss.
Indeed, from the countless posts on the site it is evident that Mark was a popular character.
The overriding sentiments shared was that he always had a friendly, warm smile and always made time to chat.
Although in deep shock, Mark's wide circle of friends expressed that his memory will never be forgotten.