Former Republic of Ireland international Alan McLoughlin has passed away at the age of 54.

McLoughlin earned 42 caps for the Republic of Ireland between 1990 and 1999, scoring two goals.

Unquestionably, his most famous act in an Ireland jersey occurred in Windsor Park in November 1993, when he scored a late equaliser against Northern Ireland to earn the side qualification for USA 94.

Born into an Irish family in Manchester, McLoughlin was called up to the Ireland B squad in early 1990, scoring in a 4-1 win over England in a 'B' international in Turner's Cross in March of that year.

McLoughlin made his first team debut for Ireland in a pre-World Cup friendly against Malta in June 1990.

He was included in the Republic of Ireland squad for both Italia 90 and USA 94. He won the Republic of Ireland Player of the Year award in 1996 and earned his final cap in a fateful 1-1 draw against Macedonia in November 1999.

In 2012, he had been diagnosed with a kidney tumour and underwent a successful operation.

However, in November 2019, he received news that his cancer had spread to his remaining kidney, chest wall and lung.

In March, he revealed that he was living with renal cell carcinoma and was to undergo radiotherapy treatment.

McLoughlin in action for Ireland in 1999

In a statement tonight, FAI President Gerry McAnaney paid tribute to McLoughlin: "Alan will always be remembered for that goal in Belfast 28 years ago, a goal that brought the entire country to its feet. He was a great player for Ireland, a fantastic footballing man who coached so many young players and a very proud family man.

"We were lucky to have him as one of our Irish football family and I know I speak on behalf of everyone involved with Irish football when I sympathise with Deby and his family at this most difficult of times."

FAI CEO Jonathan Hill added: "This is most tragic news and our thoughts now are with Alan's wife Deby, his two daughters and his extended family.

"I spoke with Alan before we honoured him at the Luxembourg game in March and I know how proud he was of his 42 appearances in the Ireland jersey. He went to two World Cups with Ireland and will always be remembered for that night in November in 1993. May he rest in peace."

Alan McLoughlin was honoured ahead of Ireland's game against Luxembourg after disclosing his second bout of cancer

At club level, McLoughlin's most notable spells were at Swindon Town (1986-90) and Portsmouth (1992-99).

With the latter, he scored 68 goals in 361 appearances and was instrumental in their run to the FA Cup semi-final in 1992.

In a statement, Portsmouth said they were "devastated" to learn of his death and paid tribute to their former star, saying "the former Blues player, radio pundit, academy coach and first team coach had been fighting a brave battle against cancer.

"He played a key role in the side that came so close to reaching the FA Cup final as a second tier club in 1992 and then almost reached the Premier League the following year."

In later years, he served as first team coach at Portsmouth in 2013 and 2014 and latterly worked as academy manager at Swindon Town.

He is survived by his wife Deby and daughters Abby and Megan.

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