Derry forward Aaron Devlin has died in hospital after contracting meningitis last week.
He was taken to Antrim Area Hospital after playing a game for his club Ballinderry.
A family statement said: Following a characteristically hard-fought battle with a sudden illness, our son, brother and friend Aaron has left us,” said the Devlin family.
“Thanks Aaron for the laughs, the tears, the smiles, the strength, the pride... for everything.
“This has been an unimaginably tough and dark time for us - and will continue to be,” the family statement added.
“The actions, words, prayers, kindness, and support from so many people has genuinely touched us.
“We may never be able to thank everyone for it, but please know that it has helped us realise just what an impact he made on this world in just 23 years. We have gained so much strength and pride from it.
“We now hope that the many memories Aaron has given us will help us through the challenge that we must now face together.”