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Dublin: 12°C Monday 14 June 2021

Former Ireland star Alan McLoughlin reveals battle against cancer

The man whose goal sent Ireland to the 1994 World Cup Finals had to have a kidney removed six weeks ago.

Image: Matthew Ashton/EMPICS Sport

FORMER IRELAND MIDFIELDER Alan McLoughlin has revealed that he is battling cancer, and had to have a kidney removed recently in order to stop the spread of the disease.

The 45-year-old told The Sun that he had just dropped back the Portsmouth under-14 side to the club’s academy when he first became concerned.

“I had taken the Portsmouth under-14 team to a game at AFC Wimbledon six weeks ago and had dropped them back to the academy in the mini-bus when I decided I needed a pee,” McLoughlin, who scored the goal against Northern Ireland that sent Ireland through to the 1994 World Cup Finals, revealed.

“I went to the loo and nothing was happening which was strange so I pushed a bit harder and started peeing blood, blood and urine.

“I just jumped back from the urinal and called out to Lucas, one of the physios who had travelled with us. He came running in, thinking I had collapsed or something and when he saw the blood he told me to get straight to the hospital.

“I drove straight to Swindon hospital, still in my Pompey gear, and rang my wife Deby on the way.

“When I got there they thought — rightly so — that it was nothing more than a bladder infection or a kidney stone.

“They sent me home but within two hours I was in agony again. I was re-admitted on the Sunday, had a cat scan on the Monday and that night the doctor came to my bedside and pulled the curtain.

“I thought he was going to tell me it was a gall stone but he just said they found a tumour on the kidney and it would have to come out.

“The blood clot I had passed was the warning sign. I just remember putting my hand up to my face and thinking, ‘How am I going to tell Deby and my two girls Abby and Megan and my mum and dad?’

“I was more worried about telling people than I was about having cancer. Then I apologised to the doctor for about ten minutes for having made him have to tell me something like that which is typical of me.”

McLoughlin hopes that he can set an example to other men not to rest on their laurels if they think something isn’t right.

“It is vital that anyone who passes blood or notices anything unusual in their urine or stools takes action. I’ve been lucky, I didn’t sit on my hands and it might have saved my life.”

Here is the story behind THAT goal…

(YouTube credit: CuChoileain)

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