Former Ireland international Gerry Ryan has died aged 68

FAI, Bohemians and Liam Brady among those paying tribute.

FORMER REPUBLIC OF Ireland international Gerry Ryan has died at the age of 68.

The Football Association of Ireland is among those paying tribute to the Dubliner tonight.

“The FAI is saddened to learn the death of former Ireland international Gerry Ryan tonight,” the Association wrote on social media.

“Ryan, who made 18 caps for Ireland, also played for Bohemians, Brighton and Hove Albion and Derby County in a distinguished career.

“May he rest in peace.”

“Everyone at Bohemians wishes to extend our condolences to the family and friends of our former player Gerry Ryan, who has sadly passed away aged 68,” his former domestic club added.

“A league winner in 1975 and FAI Cup winner in 1976, Gerry later played for Brighton and Derby, and won 18 caps for Ireland.”

Derby County and Brighton & Hove Albion also paid tribute to Ryan, with the latter posting a video of some career highlights:

Ryan scored 14 goals in 53 appearances during his time at Bohs, before earning a move to Derby County in 1977.

Perhaps his brightest spell came at Brighton. After joining the Seagulls in ’78, he bagged 39 goals in 199 appearances — including one which sealed their promotion to the English top-flight. 

Ryan represented Brighton in the 1983 FA Cup final against Manchester United, and played 18 times for Ireland between 1978 and 1984, having previously earned one U21 cap.

He made his senior debut in a 4-2 friendly win over Turkey at Lansdowne Road in ’78, and his only international goal arrived a year later at the same venue in a 3-1 defeat to West Germany. Ryan suffered a career-ending leg injury in 1985, but returned to Brighton as Liam Brady’s assistant during the 1993/94 season.

“Gerry was a wonderful team-mate,” Brady told the Brighton club website amidst a heartfelt obituary. “He was a very quick winger, very brave, and he took people on. We had some great games together and then we ended up on opposite sides, for Brighton and Arsenal, in the old First Division

“He was a very influential figure in the Brighton team that won promotion to the top flight and he also played his part in keeping them there.

“He was fantastic in the FA Cup final against Manchester United and just loved playing for the club. Brighton & Hove Albion was in his heart and he remained in the area for a long time.

“Gerry played a key role in me getting the manager’s job as he knew the directors and it made sense for me to bring him in alongside me. We did a pretty good job in what were, of course, difficult circumstances, and I could see then just what Brighton meant to him – he was in love with the club so much.

“Off the pitch Gerry was just a really nice guy. He was affable, unassuming and got on with everyone he came in contact with. He’ll be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.”

- Updated 10.35pm to amend the main article image.

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