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Tributes paid to ex-Swindon, Torquay, Pompey, Southampton player who dies aged 54

Tributes have been paid to ex-Swindon, Torquay, Pompey, Southampton player Alan McLoughlin who sadly dies aged just 54, it’s confirmed.

The former midfielder had revealed back in March that he was battling cancer for a second time. He had first been diagnosed with a kidney tumour back in 2012.

In late 2019, he was informed the cancer had unfortunately spread to his remaining kidney, chest wall and lung.

McLoughlin scored one of the most famous goals in Irish football history to book our place at the 1994 World Cup.

He came off the bench against Northern Ireland in Windsor Park to net an all-important equaliser in a 1-1 draw that ensured The Boys in Green qualified for USA ’94.

He had started his career as a trainee at Manchester United before spending the bulk of his playing days at Swindon Town and later Portsmouth, only just missing out on reaching the Premier League with the latter.

In March, he released the statement to clarify the position with regard to his health after he said: “some incorrect information was being circulated”.

“In November 2019, I was given more bad news; that the cancer had spread to my remaining kidney, into my chest wall and my lung. I underwent immunotherapy that unfortunately didn’t work, and I was in hospital several days due to side effects that affected my kidney.

“That did get resolved, and I started taking another drug, a once-a-day tablet called Cabozantinib. This had a positive effect, as all three tumours were shrinking. I went for a scan in January 2021, and things looked stable.

“Unfortunately, the scan didn’t go beyond my thorax, so it missed a tumour growing in my vertebrae. It was only when I began to feel a pinched nerve in my shoulder that I realised there was another issue. I ended up being rushed to hospital in Swindon with a fractured neck, as the tumour had caused my vertebrae to crumble.

“Three weeks ago, I had an operation in John Radcliffe Hospital to try and take out as much of the tumour as possible, and to build a cage to support my neck.

“That was successful, and I am currently back home, about to go on radiotherapy treatment for my neck as well as a new programme of medication. So I hope that goes well.”

Senior career
1985–1986 – Manchester United
1986–1990 – Swindon Town – 106 games (19 goals)
1987–1988 → Torquay United (loan) – 24 games (4 goals)
1990–1992 – Southampton – 24 games (1 goal)
1991 → Aston Villa (loan)
1992–1999 – Portsmouth – 309 games (54 goals)
1999–2001 – Wigan Athletic – 22 games (1 goal)
2001–2002 – Rochdale – 18 games (1 goal)
2002–2003 – Forest Green Rovers – 12 games (0 goals)
Total – 515 games (80 goals)

National team
1990–1999 – Republic of Ireland – 42 games (2 goals)

Teams managed
2016–2021 – Swindon Town Academy

In a statement, FAI President Gerry McAnaney paid tribute to McLoughlin: “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 Deby and his family at this most difficult of times.”

On hearing the news, former Ireland player Jason McAteer tweeted: “Devastated to hear of the passing of my old team mate Alan McLoughlin great fella. Thoughts are with his family.”

More tributes were paid to the ex-Swindon, Torquay, Pompey, Southampton player who dies aged 54…

@luluboo64: Rest in peace macca a true gent knew him at Pompey always had time for a chat a real gent off and on the pitch will be missed

@adrianthompson7: So sad. One of my absolute favourite players, who gave his all for us. Wonderful to watch and provided to many magical moments. Class. Sincerest condolences to his family and friends. There’ll be tears shed and Guinness’ raised to Macca

@HarryWo50442291: RIP Alan McLoughlin. Another Pompey Legend taken far too soon from us. RIP Blue Macca, PUP!

@DaveKnight1981: Terrible news, he was a fine player and gave me some great moments when I was a kid. Seemed like a lovely man as well. Rest in peace Macca

@haydenbedwell2: The Alan McLoughlin Town End

@PaulHowden67: A legend of the club, and a legend of a man who was a particular comfort to my brother Steve when both were diagnosed and treated for kidney cancer. RIP Macca

@newman1166: RIP Alan. Will never forget that wonderful volley in Windsor park. One of my earliest memories of following football . Condolences to his family


@Saintwalker1: RIP Maca this is when football is put to one side @Pompey @SouthamptonFC #hampshirefootball

@PhilHoare1: So very sad to see, a real hero through my favourite years of Pompey. Will always cherish the memories of the hat trick at Elwood, plus many others great momemts on the road. RIP.

@DBodderz: Gutted to hear this. Only read in March about the difficult time Alan had been having with cancer in recent years. Rest in Peace

@cmyerswembley91: Gutted to hear the sad and shocking news of Alan’s passing. Was a teammate at Torquay United back in the 80s during our great escape season. Was such a lovely down to earth person. Will be missed by many, my condolences to all who new Alan, and to all his family. RIP Alan

@morgandylan99: Such sad news absolutely devastated to hear this thoughts with all his family

@stevew_pfc: Been looking twitter and it’s great to see so many people with heartfelt sympathies for #Macca from varying teams around. He brought so many good memories to so many and always gave best. We have lost a quality man…

@POMPEYBENNY: One of my favourite players watching Pompey as a kid. RIP Macca

@Redbear49266060: Horrific news. I just wished him all the best a couple of weeks ago and he immediately answered me. So sorry to hear this. RIP my friend. You arecand always will be a legend!

@bryanjdavis: RIP Macca and thanks for the great memories and that Forest goal that made all Pompey fans dream of Wembley.

@jasonlane009: So shocked to hear the sad news of the loss of not only a true STFC legend but also a great bloke who I have had many a conversation with. My thoughts are with Debs and the girls at this sad time. RIP Macca, gone but you will never be forgotten

@sebreilly84: When I was a kid, I was so proud as a Pompey fan that Alan McLoughlin had made it to the World Cup! One of my earliest Fratton memories was when he scored the winner v Forest in the Cup quarter final. Club legend… I’m devastated. RIP, Macca, and thanks for the memories

@MalcDaySTFC: Top player, thoroughly lovely man. RIP Macca. I will never forget the day you took us to the promise land…. the first time round. 1990 #stfclegend

@DJDEX6: So saddened to here this news. Macca will always have a special place in my heart as he was there for us as a family while my son was ill. Making special visits to see us and cheering us up with funny stories of things that had happened while he was a player at STFC. RIP MACCA

@peadubya66: RIP Macca, great memories from your time at Fratton Park. A Pompey & Ireland legend. Sadly missed

@Safehandsstfc1: Truly gutted. Rest easy, Legend. Giant of a footballer for #stfc & a truly lovely man. I once met Macca at the NEC on a work gig many moons ago. Talked of THE ‘90 goal & love Town. The fire in his eyes was intoxicating. Heartbreaking news. Condolences to the McLoughlin family

@DavidAcklam: Taken away far too young. Very sad news. Condolences to Alan Mac’s family. #stfc

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