Soccer-Former Ireland international McLoughlin dies aged 54

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(Reuters) - Former Ireland international Alan McLoughlin has died at the age of 54 following a second battle with cancer in recent months, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) said in a statement https://www.fai.ie/ireland/news/fai-pays-tribute-to-alan-mcloughlin.

Manchester-born McLoughlin played for Portsmouth in England after spells with Swindon Town and Southampton. He retired in 2003 following a short period at Forest Green Rovers.

He was capped 42 times by Ireland and scored the equalising goal against Northern Ireland in 1993 that sent his country into the World Cup finals in the United States the following year.

"Alan will always be remembered for that goal in Belfast, a goal that brought the entire country to its feet," FAI president Gerry McAnaney said of Ireland's Player of the Year in 1996.

"He was a great player for Ireland, a fantastic footballing man who coached so many young players and a proud family man. We were lucky to have him as one of our Irish football family."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)