Football

Ireland Hero Alan McLoughlin Dies Aged 54 After Cancer Battle

Ireland Hero Alan McLoughlin Dies Aged 54 After Cancer Battle

Alan McLoughlin has died aged 54.

It was revealed in late March that the former Ireland international was about to undergo a course of radiotherapy to treat an ongoing battle with cancer. McLoughlin had been living with renal cell carcinoma.

The Manchester-born player famously scored the goal against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in 1993 which saw Ireland qualify for USA 94. In all, he won 42 international caps and was named Ireland's Player of the Year in 1996.

His club career began with Manchester United and took in Swindon Town, Southampton, Portsmouth, Wigan, Rochdale and Forest Green Rovers. He retired in 2003, aged 36, due to a persistent back injury.

The midfielder, who qualified to wear the green jersey through his mother from Limerick and father from Galway, made his Ireland debut in 1990 under Jack Charlton and played all the way through to 1999.

During the World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg in March, a message of support for McLoughlin was shown on the big screen at the Aviva Stadium.

McLoughlin had been working as academy manager for Swindon Town.

"Alan will always be remembered for that goal in Belfast, a goal that brought the entire country to its feet," said FAI president Gerry McAnaney.

"He was a great player for Ireland, a fantastic footballing man who coached so many young players and a very proud family man. We were lucky to have him as one of our Irish football family and 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.”

PJ Browne
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