Former Republic of Ireland and Portsmouth midfielder Alan McLouglin has died aged 54, it has been announced.
McLoughlin, who has made more than 350 appearances for Pompey in a career that started as an apprentice at Manchester United, revealed in March that he was living with cancer for the second time.
A post on his former club’s official Twitter account said: “Pompey is sad to confirm that Alan McLoughlin has passed away at the age of only 54.
“Rest in peace, Macca.
McLoughlin won 42 caps for Ireland and scored the goal against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in November 1993, which led Jack Charlton’s side to the 1994 World Cup final in the United States. .
Former Irish teammate Ray Houghton joined talkSPORT Drive on Tuesday afternoon to pay tribute to McLoughlin.
“This is incredibly sad news. He is only 54 years old. There is so much to experience, great character, ”Houghton said.
“I know he had a problem a few years ago with a kidney tumor. I remember telling him about it and he shed some light on it. I made a few jokes about it.
“I’ve seen all the social media posts wishing him good luck over the past few weeks, didn’t know it was that bad.
“Normally I saw him at games. He would play games and I would be there. We would have a good conversation about the Irish days and the matches we played against each other.
“He was a really lovely and charming man who loved football.”
On that goal he scored to send Ireland to the World Cup, Houghton added: “It came to me pretty funny. I was disappointed that I walked out but delighted when Alan walked in.
“When he scored that goal the emotions that went through the players and for him as an individual to score a goal that leads your country to a World Cup are very, very special.
“He will be forever remembered for this goal.”
Tributes poured in from the football community following news of his death.
Football Association of Ireland President Gerry McAnaney said: “Alan will always be remembered for that goal in Belfast 18 years ago, a goal that put the whole country together.
“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.”