Tributes have paid to the former general secretary of the FAI, Dr. Tony O' Neill who has died at the age of 54. Dr O'Neill, who was general manager of UCD soccer club, died in hospital early today after a short illness. The Taoiseach expressed his shock and sadness at the news. Mr Ahern said Dr O'Neill had been a terrific motivator who loved sport. The president of the FAI, Pat Quigley, said Dr O'Neill's loss would be felt throughout a wide range of areas within the organisation.

Tony O'Neill served in many of soccer's top positions in this country, and is particularly remembered by colleagues for the tireless work he put into securing thousands of tickets for Republic of Ireland supporters during Italia '90, when Jack's Army went all the way to the World Cup quarter finals in Rome.

On his resignation from the post of FAI General secretary, he went on to be a member of a number of UEFA committees. He was also a member of the EURO 2000 organising committee, and the General manager of UCD.

In a tribute to the late Dr. Tony O'Neill, the Minister for Tourism Sport and Recreation Dr. James McDaid TD said that he had made a major contribution to the progress of soccer in Ireland. His death at such a young age was a tremendous loss to the Football Association and to sport in general.

The Premier League soccer match between Derry City and UCD, due to take place in Derry this afternoon, has been postponed.