Alan McLoughlin sadly passed away after a long battle with cancer. He scored the goal that led the Republic of Ireland to the 1994 World Cup.
The former Portsmouth midfielder revealed in March he was preparing for a course of radiation therapy after surgery to remove a tumor from his vertebrae, nine years after being diagnosed with a kidney tumor.
His death was confirmed in a statement released by the Football Association of Ireland, which offered condolences to his wife Debbie and their daughters Abby and Megan.
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He said: “The Irish Football Association extends its deepest condolences to Debbie, Abby and Megan McLoughlin on the passing today of our former international midfielder Alan McLoughlin at the age of 54.
“Alan had bravely faced a second battle with cancer in recent months, his courage in the face of adversity being an example to all who knew and loved him.
McLoughlin also said he was told in November 2019 that the cancer had spread to his remaining kidney, chest wall and lungs, and he was rushed to hospital earlier. this year with a broken neck after her vertebrae collapsed.
The midfielder started his career as an apprentice at home club Manchester United, but after stints at Swindon and Southampton it was in Portsmouth that he found a home, making more than 350 appearances in seven years.
He has been selected 42 times by Ireland and made his mark in the country’s sporting folklore with the equalizer he scored in a World Cup qualifying match against Northern Ireland in Windsor Park in November 1993, which sent Jack Charlton’s men to the United States the following summer.
FAI President Gerry McAnaney said: “Alan will always be remembered for that goal in Belfast 18 years ago, a goal that put the whole country on its feet.
“He was a great player for Ireland, a fantastic footballer who has coached so many young players and a very proud family man.
“We have been fortunate to have him in our Irish football family and I know I speak for everyone involved in Irish football when I sympathize with Debbie and her family in these most difficult times.”
A post on Portsmouth’s official Twitter account said: “#Pompey is sad to confirm that Alan McLoughlin has passed away at the age of just 54 Rest in peace, Macca.”