The Football Association of Ireland has paid tribute to its former president and UEFA executive board member Des Casey, who has died aged 91.

The Dundalk man was first elected to the FAI Council in 1972, served as President from 1984 until 1986 - when he was heavily involved in the appointment of Jack Charlton as Republic of Ireland manager - and as honorary secretary from the early 1990s until his 70th birthday in 2002.

Synonymous with Dundalk FC and an honorary president at the time of his death, his family provided 'Casey's field', the land that became Oriel Park, in 1936. He was elected to the board of the club in 1962 and served as secretary before he was appointed as honorary treasurer of the League of Ireland.

A respected trade union official, Des also brought his expertise to the UEFA Youth Committee and was Ireland’s first ever elected representative on the UEFA Executive before he was voted in as a UEFA Vice-President in 2000. He was an honorary life vice-president of the FAI at the time of his death.

The FAI said in a statement that it was "deeply saddened" to learn of the death of "a great football man who served his hometown club Dundalk FC, the FAI and UEFA with such distinction over so many years".

FAI President Gerry McAnaney said: "This is a sad day for our game with the passing of Des Casey, one of the great custodians of Irish football for so many years and a gentleman who treated everyone he met with so much respect throughout his life.

"What Des didn’t know about football wasn’t worth knowing. From Dundalk to the League of Ireland, from the FAI to UEFA, we were blessed with his insight and his love for football. Des was a visionary and an administrator beyond compare. On a personal level I can only thank Des from the bottom of my heart for all the support he gave me as President of the Association. He was never more than a phone call away with great advice and a listening ear.

"I know I speak for everyone involved with Irish football when I thank Des for his many years of service to our game. To his wife Mary and all his family and friends our deepest sympathies. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis."