Alan McLoughlin: Former Republic and Portsmouth midfielder dies aged 54

Alan McLoughlin celebrates at the final whistle after his goal earns a 1-1 draw with Northern Ireland and 1994 World Cup qualification

Former Republic of Ireland and Portsmouth midfielder Alan McLoughlin has passed away at the age of 54.

The Manchester-born McLoughlin, whose other clubs included Swindon Town and Southampton, revealed in March that he had cancer.

He made his Republic debut in 1990 and won 42 caps.

McLoughlin is best remembered for his equalising goal against Northern Ireland which clinched qualification for the 1994 World Cup finals.

He was diagnosed with a kidney tumour in 2012 and had a successful operation but McLoughlin said in March that he had cancer and it spread to his kidney, chest wall and lung.

The FAI paid has paid tribute to McLoughlin, who scored two goals in a nine-year international career and was in the Republic squad for the 1990 and 1994 World Cup finals.

Deepest sympathies

“The Football Association of Ireland extends 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,” the FAI said on Tuesday.

“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.

Alan McLoughlin played more than 300 games for Portsmouth between 1992 and 1999
Alan McLoughlin played more than 300 games for Portsmouth between 1992 and 1999

“Capped 42 times by the Republic of Ireland under Jack Charlton and Mick McCarthy, Alan famously scored the Windsor Park equaliser against Northern Ireland in November 1993 that sent the Republic of Ireland to USA ’94. He was named Ireland’s Player of the Year in 1996.”

FAI President Gerry McAnaney added: “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.

“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.”

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