Tributes pour in for Wigan Athletic old-boy

Former Wigan Athletic and Republic of Ireland midfielder Alan McLoughlin has died at the age of 54.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 5:46 pm
Alan McLoughlin

McLoughlin, who also made more than 350 appearances for Portsmouth in a career which began as an apprentice at Manchester United, revealed in March he was living with cancer for the second time.

A post on his former club's official Twitter account said: "Pompey are sad to confirm that Alan McLoughlin has passed away at the age of just 54. Rest in peace, Macca."

McLoughlin won 42 caps for Ireland and famously scored the goal against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in November 1993 which took Jack Charlton's team to the 1994 World Cup finals in the United States.

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Football Association of Ireland president Gerry McAnaney said: "Alan will always be remembered for that goal in Belfast 18 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 Debbie and his family at this most difficult of times."

FAI chief executive officer Jonathan Hill added: "This is most tragic news and our thoughts now are with Alan's wife Debbie, 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."

McLoughlin joined Latics from Portsmouth in December 1999 for £260,000, and made 29 appearances before moving on to Rochdale in December 2001.

Former Latics team-mate Neil Roberts tweeted: "So sad to hear of Alan’s passing, a wonderful human being and great footballer.. so many laughs together my friend.. RIP Macca.."

Andy Liddell replied: "A sad day Robbo, a great guy."

Pat McGibbon tweeted: "Devastated on the passing of Alan McLoughlin, a gentleman and friend. RIP Macca."

Simon Haworth replied: "Awful news, Pat, devastated."

Kevin Sharp tweeted: "What a guy, pro and team-mate, so sad. RIP Macca."

And Dr Tom Markham, a Latics director following the recent takeover by Phoenix 2021 Limited, tweeted: "Really sad to hear that @FAIreland cult hero Alan McLoughlin has passed away at only 54. RIP."

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