Former Republic of Ireland international Alan McLoughlin will join the Republic of Ireland Soccer Supporters Club London for their St Patrick’s gathering this Friday March 20 at the Crown Hotel in Cricklewood.
Alan is remembered by all Irish soccer fans old enough as the man who scored the goal in Windsor Park to secure Jack Charlton’s team’s place the USA World Cup in 1994.
Capped 42 times by Ireland, Alan was a late addition to Jack Charlton’s 1990 World Cup squad before he travelled to America in 1994.
Alan joined Manchester United on leaving school but did not make a first team appearance during his three years with the club. Alan joined Swindon Town in August 1986 and initially things did not go well under then manager Lou Macari. Following the appointment of Osvaldo Ardiles, things improved dramatically and Alan was an influential ever present as the club reached the play-off final at Wembley, where he scored the winning goal against Sunderland. An investigation into irregular payments by the club brought bitter disappointment and Swindon Town were demoted.
Alan became a £1 million pound player when transferred to Southampton but again things did not go well and he was transferred to Portsmouth where he remained from 1992 until 1999.
Following his retirement, Alan returned to the club as senior Academy Coach later First Team Coach. His role at Portsmouth ceased in December last and Alan has recently taken up a position as an Academy Coach with Swindon Town.
Alan’s book opens with a dramatic retelling of the events surrounding his discovery of and the subsequent diagnosis of cancer of the kidney in September 2012. Alan subsequently offered himself as a human guinea-pig for a new drug in the hope of helping others beat the disease.
Alan will be accompanied by Dr Bryce Evans who lent his considerable assistance in putting Alan’s story together for his recent autobiography, A Different Shade of Green. The book will be available for purchase on the night meeting and Alan and Bryce will be only too happy to personalise a copy.
The Republic of Ireland Soccer Supporters Club London celebrated 30 years in existence just last year. Kevin Kilbane was the guest of honour at their annual quiz in February and John Giles was their guest last year.