Alan McLoughlin, the player whose goal led the Republic of Ireland to qualify for USA ’94, has died at the age of just 54 after a battle with cancer.
The former Portsmouth and Swindon midfielder revealed in March he was preparing to undergo a course of radiotherapy following surgery to remove a tumor from his vertebrae, nine years after a kidney tumor was diagnosed in him.
McLoughlin also said doctors informed him in November 2019 that the cancer had spread to other parts of his body, and that he had been rushed to hospital with a broken neck this year after his vertebrae crumbled.
His death was confirmed in a statement issued by the FAI, expressing its condolences to his wife Debbie and their daughters Abby and Megan: “Alan has bravely faced a second battle with cancer in recent months with his courage in adversity is an example for all who knew and loved him. ”
The midfielder started his career as a pupil at his hometown club Manchester United, but it was at Pompey where he settled and made more than 350 appearances during a seven-year stay.
Alan won 42 matches for Ireland and entered the country’s sporting folklore with the equalizer he scored in a 1993 World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park, which sent Jack Charlton’s team to the USA next summer. has.
FAI President Gerry McAnaney said: “Alan will always be remembered for that goal in Belfast 18 years ago, a goal that brought the whole country to its feet. He was a great player for Ireland, a fantastic footballer who coached so many young players and a very proud family man. “