Reading FC have led tributes to their former Academy manager Eamonn Dolan, who has passed away aged 48.

Galway native Dolan, twin brother of former League of Ireland manager Pat, represented Ireland five times at Under-21 level while playing for West Ham United.

He also played for Birmingham and Exeter City before his playing career was cut short by cancer.

Dolan managed Exeter for a season before joining Reading as Academy manager in 2004, and was instrumental in the development of future Ireland international strikers Kevin Doyle and Shane Long from Cork City.

A statement from Reading said: "It is with the deepest and most profound sadness that Reading Football Club regretfully inform its supporters of the passing of Eamonn Dolan, who we tragically lost yesterday evening following a courageous battle against cancer at the age of 48. 

"Our sincere condolences go out to his family and many, many friends. Eamonn was, and will forever remain, one of our own. 

"His energy for football was infectious. His enthusiasm for the sport we all love was evident in his every compelling word he uttered. The pride in his work was enviable. And each young player who Eamonn carefully nurtured through our Academy ranks and into professional football will today stand tall as testament to one great man’s total dedication and unassuming but single-minded commitment to his job. Eamonn led by shining example. And most notably, his love for this club was overwhelming. 

"That love was mutual. Everyone who worked with him at Reading respected and admired a man who will be desperately missed by staff, managers, coaches and players – both past and present throughout his 12 years as a Royal. 

"Upon hearing of his renewed fight against cancer with the removal of a tumour and a course of chemotherapy that began last summer, our supporters came together in an emotional show of support for Eamonn – a spontaneous minute’s applause in the 21st minute of the opening home league match of last season representing the recent success he had enjoyed with our newly-promoted U21 team and the unequivocal support Dolan had from fans of football. 

"For a man so modest, working tirelessly and with a real zest for success but without the desire for recognition for his countless achievements or any sort of limelight, to make such a monumental impact on a club and its supporters is extremely rare. Human beings like Eamonn Dolan are rare. 

"Eamonn was one of the good guys. He will be so sorely missed by so many. We will never forget him."

The FAI have also paid tribute to Dolan, who played internationally alongside his twin brother.

In a statement, FAI CEO said "Eamonn Dolan was a real gentleman and fought a courageous battle against cancer in recent years. It is such sad news to hear of his passing.

"The sympathies of all in Irish football go to Eamonn's family, his brother Patrick in particular, and his many friends in the game who will be very upset at his untimely death.

"We will rightly pay tribute to Eamonn at our next home international game. May he rest in peace."