Additional repoeting by PA
Former Republic of Ireland footballer Alan McLoughlin has died with cancer, aged 54.
As The Irish Times reports, McLoughlin earned 42 international caps during the 1990s, scoring a crucial goal at Windsor Park which helped Ireland qualify for the 1994 World Cup.
He started as a trainee at Manchester United, before spells with Swindon Town and Portsmouth among other clubs.
The former Portsmouth midfielder revealed in March he was preparing to undergo a course of radiotherapy following surgery to remove a tumour from his vertebrae, nine years after being diagnosed with a kidney tumour.
McLoughlin also said he was told in November 2019 that the cancer had spread to his remaining kidney, his chest wall and lung, and that he had been rushed to hospital earlier this year with a fractured neck after his vertebrae had crumbled.
A post on Portsmouth’s official Twitter account said: “#Pompey are sad to confirm that Alan McLoughlin has passed away at the age of just 54 Rest in peace, Macca.”
💙 #Pompey are sad to confirm that Alan McLoughlin has passed away at the age of just 54
Rest in peace, Macca pic.twitter.com/MjV8EN8Jjb
— Portsmouth FC (@Pompey) May 4, 2021
In a statement, The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) said: “We extend our deepest sympathies to Debbie, Abby and Megan McLoughlin following the death today of our former international midfielder Alan McLoughlin at the age of 54.
“Alan had bravely faced into a second battle with cancer in recent months with his courage in adversity an example to all those who knew him and loved him.”
FAI President Gerry McAnaney said: “Alan will always be remembered for that goal in Belfast 18 years ago, a goal that brought the entire country to its feet.
“He was a great player for Ireland, a fantastic footballing man who coached so many young players and a very proud family man.”
He said they were lucky to have him a part of the Irish football family and added “I know I speak on behalf of everyone involved with Irish football when I sympathise with Debbie and his family at this most difficult of times.”
The FAI join Ireland fans everywhere in remembering the great Alan McLoughlin on this sad day for Irish football
We will always have that night in November
RIP Alan. pic.twitter.com/qIYj8kNI9E
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) May 4, 2021
More to follow…