TRIBUTES have poured in from across football for Swindon Town legend Alan McLoughlin, who has died at the age of 54.

The former Republic of Ireland midfielder – who famously scored the goal that took Jack Charlton’s side to the 1994 World Cup in the USA – made 136 appearances for Town, finding the net 25 times.

He also netted the winner in the 1990 play-off final against Sunderland at Wembley Stadium before going on to take up the academy manager role at the County Ground years later.

Swindon Town joined McLoughlin's former clubs Portsmouth, Wigan Athletic and Southampton in expressing their sadness at the news, while a host of former teammates and players stated their devastation.

McLoughlin's country led the tributes with a short but sincere message which read: "The FAI join Ireland fans everywhere in remembering the great Alan McLoughlin on this sad day for Irish football.

"We will always have that night in November. RIP Alan."

Former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland striker John Aldridge paid his own tribute. He said: "Absolutely gutted to hear my old teammate with the ROI Alan McLoughlin has passed away! What a great bloke and a player he was. I’ll always remember his famous goal against Northern Ireland at Windsor park in a 1-1 draw that got us to USA 94. RIP Topman."

Ex-Town goalkeeper Phil Smith said: "Rest in peace Macca, you gave me a chance and believed in me when I need it most on more than one occasion! Thank you."

First-year pro Massimo Giamattei echoed a number of his current and former youth academy peers with his tribute. He said: "RIP Macca, great coach and a great person, wouldn't be in my position without your help, thank you for everything."

Former Swindon striker Sam Parkin said: "Terribly saddened by this. Great fella. Loved bumping into him at the County Ground and talking football. Thinking of his family."

Town fans also had their say on the late club legend. London Paolo said: "Very sad day for family, friends and supporters. Alan will always be remembered as one of our best players in what I think was the best Swindon Town team of all time (the one managed by Ossie Ardiles cruelly denied promotion by the FA/FL)."

Oi Den! said: "The word "legend" gets thrown around a lot these days but Alan McLoughlin fully deserves to be remembered that way."

Croc-tastic said: "Genuinely one of my all time favourite Town players. He made himself into a top player, through sheer hard work, determination and work rate, and never give up attitude. Great consistency too, and never let the team down. One of the best, and definitely a fans favourite and legend. Thoughts are with his family - hope the comments on here will give them some comfort."