Alan McLoughlin: Former Republic of Ireland midfielder dies aged 54

Alan McLoughlin won 42 caps for the Republic of Ireland and made over 350 appearances for Portsmouth; McLoughlin, who began his career as an apprentice with Manchester United, revealed in March that he was living with cancer for a second time

Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Alan McLoughlin
Image: Alan McLoughlin won 42 caps for the Republic of Ireland

Former Republic of Ireland international Alan McLoughlin has died aged 54.

McLoughlin, who made more than 350 appearances for Portsmouth in a career which began as an apprentice at Manchester United, revealed in March he was living with cancer for the second time.

McLoughlin won 42 international caps and scored a memorable equaliser against Northern Ireland in 1993 to clinch the Republic of Ireland's place at the 1994 World Cup.

Football Association of Ireland 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.

A message of support shown on the big screen for former Republic of Ireland footballer Alan McLoughlin, who is currently undergoing cancer treatment, before the the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying group A match between Republic of Ireland and Luxembourg
Image: A message of support was shown on the big screen before Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg in March

"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."

Alan McLoughlin and manager Ossie Ardiles celebrate with the Barclays League Division Two playoff final trophy in 1990
Image: Alan McLoughlin celebrates with manager Ossie Ardiles after Swindon's play-off final win in 1990

McLoughlin began his career as a trainee with Manchester United before joining Swindon Town, where he made over 100 appearances and scored the winning goal in the 1990 Division Two playoff final against Sunderland.

He signed for Portsmouth in 1992 after a short stint with Southampton and spent seven years at Fratton Park, helping the club reach the FA Cup semi-finals in his debut season.

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."

McLoughlin also had spells with Torquay United, Wigan Athletic, Rochdale and Forest Green Rovers before moving into coaching with Portsmouth in 2011.

FAI chief executive officer Jonathan Hill said: "This is most tragic news and our thoughts now are with Alan's wife Debbie, his two daughters and his extended family.

"I spoke with Alan before we honoured him at the Luxembourg game in March and I know how proud he was of his 42 appearances in the Ireland jersey.

"He went to two World Cups with Ireland and will always be remembered for that night in November in 1993. May he rest in peace."

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