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‘A beloved friend’: Revolution issue statement after death of former assistant coach, commentator Paul Mariner

"Paul’s unwavering kindness and good humor left an indelible mark on all who knew him."

Paul Mariner, the former England striker who played at the World Cup in 1982 and later coached in MLS, has died. He was 68. Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press, via AP, File

Paul Mariner, a pillar in the soccer world, died Friday at age 68 following a battle with brain cancer.

Mariner pieced together a storied playing career for England, was an assistant coach for both Harvard University and the New England Revolution in the 2000s, and was recently the color commentator for the Revolution, among other feats.

The Mariner family released a statement thanking everyone who supported him through his illness.

“Anyone who knew Paul will attest to his fantastic sense of humour, his passion for life, and for his work,” the family wrote. “He will be sorely missed by everyone who was ever around him and by those most close to him.”

The Revolution issued a statement Saturday morning.

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“The New England Revolution are deeply saddened by the news today regarding the death of Paul Mariner,” the release read. “An incredible player, coach, and broadcaster, Paul’s unwavering kindness and good humor left an indelible mark on all who knew him and his Revolution family will remember him best as a beloved friend. Our thoughts are with the Mariner family at this difficult time.”

Many players, including Taylor Twellman and Charlie Davies, paid their respects as well.

“I feel so fortunate to call him a friend,” Twellman wrote on Twitter.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he brought to the game but more importantly his ability to always lift a room,” Davies wrote.

Revolution President Brian Bilello shared his thoughts as well.

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