Phil O'Donnell's father has spoken of his shock at the death of the Motherwell captain, who collapsed during a match on Saturday.
Bernard O'Donnell said the family had been overwhelmed by the support and messages from people inside and outside the football world.
He said: "None of us can yet comprehend what has happened. We are very grateful for the support we have received."
He asked for the family's privacy to be respected to allow them time to grieve.
First Minister Alex Salmond led the tributes to O'Donnell who died after collapsing during Motherwell's SPL game against Dundee United on Saturday.
Motherwell FC will announce plans later for a formal tribute to the club captain.
Supporters of clubs across the UK have been posting their condolences on the club's website after the tragedy.
The 35-year-old former Celtic player leaves a wife and four children.
Motherwell players paid their respects at Fir Park
Motherwell fans have been laying scarves, strips and pictures at the gates of Fir Park.
Some of the team's players travelled to the ground on Sunday morning to pay their respects.
The club's scheduled SPL game against Hibs at Easter Road next Wednesday has now been postponed along with the club's home game with Celtic next Sunday.
Scottish Premier League chairman Lex Gold said: "We understand from Phil's family that they would appreciate it if the Motherwell v Celtic game scheduled for Sunday 6 January could be postponed.
"Both clubs are happy to meet the request and we have called the game off."
O'Donnell collapsed towards the end of Saturday's match at Fir Park which Motherwell went on to win 5-3.
The club later confirmed that O'Donnell died at 1718 GMT.
Mr Salmond said: "I had seen Phil playing a number of times.
"He was an outstanding young player and a great prospect.
"As Craig Brown was saying earlier, injury at a key time probably prevented him getting many, many more Scottish caps.
"But the circumstances of his death are obviously a huge blow to Scottish football.
"My sympathy and condolences go to his family and friends."
Motherwell owner John Boyle said the death was an unspeakable tragedy for Phil's family.
He added: "Everyone at Motherwell is shocked to the core and we are sure that everyone involved in Scottish football will feel the same.
"Phil was not only an inspirational player for Motherwell and club captain, but was an inspirational person."
Former First Minister Jack McConnell, MSP for Motherwell and Wishaw, was among those to pay tribute.
He hailed the midfielder as a "great professional". He said: "As captain he helped transform Motherwell this season.
Mr Salmond said the star's death was a "huge blow"
"Phil will be sadly missed by his family and by football fans but he will be mourned by the whole community."
The player was described as a "perfect gentleman" by former Scotland coach Craig Brown.
He said: "It's very, very sad news, I just can't get over it.
"You would not get a more ideal role model for a young footballer than Phil O'Donnell.
"I think in his first spell at Motherwell he was probably the best box-to-box midfield player - maybe not just in Scotland but in the UK."
Brian Worton, secretary of the Motherwell FC Supporters' Association, told the BBC O'Donnell's death was a "massive loss."
"I feel for his family - his wife Eileen and four children," he said.
"He was a perfect leader for this football club and led by example.
"You couldn't find a bad thing to say about him.
"There weren't any off the pitch incidents - nothing. He was just a great, great footballer and a great leader."
A statement on the Motherwell Supporter's Trust website said: "The Trust wishes to pass on its condolences to the family of Phil O'Donnell. He was a Lanarkshire boy who earned a Cup Winner's medal for Motherwell.
"He grew to become the captain, a model professional and a great ambassador for the club. The trust will consider the best way to mark his passing."