Shamrock Rovers have paid tribute to their former chairman Joe Colwell, who passed away on Christmas Day. 

The Dubliner played in the League of Ireland for Drumcondra AFC and went on to have a long and successful association with the Hoops.

Colwell played a big role in bringing the club to Tallaght, having joined the board in 1988, progressing to the role of chairman in the 90s.

His son Jason had a six-year spell with Rovers as a player and remains involved with the club's development academy.

Colwell was described as a "true gentleman" in a statement released by Shamrock Rovers on social media this morning.

"Joe was an affable and pleasant person who always had time to chat with everyone at the club be they patrons, sponsors or just ordinary supporters," the statement read. 

"He was his own man though and was very clear in the vision he held of what would make Shamrock Rovers great once again. The continued long-drawn out stadium affair eventually took its toll on Joe and in April 2002 he made his feelings known that he intended to resign as chairman.

"He relented  and continued on for a while longer before finally announcing at a general meeting held at the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght that he was handing over the reigns of chairman to Tony Maguire who was a board member and chairman of the Shamrock Rovers Schoolboys section.

"Joe continued to work on and advise on matters relating to the stadium project before finally selling out his interest and retiring.

"Everyone at Shamrock Rovers FC owes a debt of gratitude to Joe who sacrificed so much to enable the club get to Tallaght. We offer our sincere condolences to the Colwell family and all of Joe’s many friends on his passing.

"To all who had dealings with Joe Colwell, he will always be remembered as a true gentleman."