Alan McLoughlin, the man whose goal took the Republic of Ireland to the 1994 World Cup final in the United States, has died at the age of 54.
The former Portsmouth midfielder revealed in March he was preparing for a course of radiation therapy after surgery to remove a tumor from his vertebrae, nine years after being diagnosed with a kidney tumor. McLoughlin also said he was told in November 2019 that the cancer had spread to his remaining kidney, chest wall and lungs, and that he was rushed to hospital this year. with a broken neck after his vertebrae collapsed.
His death was confirmed in a statement issued by the Football Association of Ireland, which offered its condolences to his wife Debbie and their daughters Abby and Megan: “Alan had bravely faced a second battle with cancer in recent months with his courage. in adversity and example to all who knew and loved him.
The midfielder started his career as an apprentice at his hometown club Manchester United, but after stints in Swindon and Southampton it was in Portsmouth that he found a home, making more than 350 appearances in seven years. He has been selected 42 times by the Republic and made his mark in the country’s sporting folklore with the equalizer he scored in a World Cup qualifying match against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in November 1993, which sent Jack Charlton’s men to the United States the following summer.
Football Association of Ireland President Gerry McAnaney said: “Alan will always be remembered for that goal in Belfast 18 years ago, a goal that put the whole country together. He was a great player for Ireland, a fantastic footballer who coached so many young players and a very proud family man.
“We have been fortunate to have him in our Irish football family and I know I speak for everyone involved in Irish football when I sympathize with Debbie and her family in these most difficult times.”
FAI CEO Jonathan Hill said: “This is tragic news and our thoughts are now with Alan’s wife Debbie, his two daughters and his extended family. I spoke with Alan before honoring him at the Luxembourg game in March and know how proud he was of his 42 appearances in the Irish shirt. He went to two World Cups with Ireland and that night in November 1993 will always be remembered. May he rest in peace.
A post on Portsmouth’s official Twitter account read: “Pompey is sad to confirm that Alan McLoughlin has passed away at the age of only 54. Rest in peace, Macca. “