Former Republic of Ireland international Alan McLoughlin has revealed he has been diagnosed with cancer.

The 53-year-old was first diagnosed with a kidney tumour in 2012 and had a successful operation.

However, in the last 18 months cancer has spread to his remaining kidney, chest wall and lung.

A scan in January revealed a more positive outlook. However the 42-cap Irish player said it did not pick up a tumour in his vertebrae.

In a statement, the hero of the 1994 World Cup qualifier in Windsor Park  said: "It was only when I began to feel a pinched nerve in my shoulder that I realised there was another issue.

"I ended up being rushed to hospital in Swindon with a fractured neck, as the tumour had caused my vertebrae to crumble.

"Three weeks ago, I had an operation in John Radcliffe Hospital to try and take out as much of the tumour as possible, and to build a cage to support my neck.

"That was successful and I am currently back home, about to go on radiotherapy treatment for my neck as well as a new programme of medication. 

"So I hope that goes well."

McLoughlin has asked for privacy in the short-term.

He said he issued the update in light of false reports about his health.