Former Irish national marathon champion and 1980 Olympian Pat Hooper has died at the age of 68. 

The Raheny Shamrock clubman died suddenly of a suspected heart attack. 

Hooper, a hugely popular figure in the world of Irish athletics, ran a personal best of 2:17:46 to win the national title in 1979 and the following year competed in the Moscow Games. 

He finished in 42nd position in Moscow, four places behind younger brother Dick, a three-time winner of the Dublin marathon. 

Hooper was an integral part in the growth of Raheny Shamrock running club and was a permanent fixture at a wide range of athletics events throughout the country as a volunteer. 

A long-serving member of Athletics Ireland's competition committee, Hooper was re-elected as the chairman of Leinster Athletics in January and is the current chairman of the Dublin Athletic Board.