Donegal have paid tribute to Pat Shovelin, "a genuine soul who will never be forgotten", after the goalkeeping coach passed away following a battle with cancer.

Shovelin was part of the back-room team under Jim McGuinness when the county marched all the way to Sam Maguire in 2012 and was a coach with Declan Bonner’s U21 side this year, when they made the All-Ireland semi-finals before losing to Dublin.

He died on Saturday aged just 41 after a year-long battle with the disease.

A Donegal statement read: "Pat’s ability as a goalkeeping coach was obvious. But his personality and kindness eclipsed all of that. He was special.

"He was a genuine soul who will never be forgotten. His ability to remain positive and productive right up until the last number of weeks is an example to us all.

Even towards the end of last season, when illness began to take a real grip, Pat remained part of the U21 set-up under Declan Bonner as the side delivered Ulster success. Captain Eoghan Bán Gallagher made sure that Pat was up alongside him as he claimed the provincial prize.

"It was a beautiful gesture. But it was a powerful one too. Pat had battled bravely to make sure he was present that night and Bán and his teammates were never going to deny him the opportunity to bask in the taste of success once again that glorious evening in Armagh."

Bán Gallagher also paid tribute to Shovelin, adding: "It’s absolutely devastating. We’re all heartbroken.

"Pat was such a great person. We’d such a lovely evening after that U21 final win. It meant so much to us all."