Tributes have poured in for widely known and respected FAI employee Michael Hayes, who has died following a brief illness.

The Waterford man worked in the association's Competitions Department and had a reputation for being encyclopedic in his knowledge of the domestic game

"We are all shocked at this news tonight," said FAI President Gerry McAnaney.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael's family at this difficult time.

"We are still coming to terms with this sad and sudden news. The sense of loss that is already so obvious within the FAI, and within Irish football, shows you the esteem in which we all held Michael Hayes. 

"Michael was a font of knowledge around everything to do with Irish football. What he didn’t know about our rules, our history and our game wasn’t worth knowing. May he rest in peace."