Soccer Digest: World Cup legend Alan McLoughlin vows to battle cancer
WORLD Cup hero Alan McLoughlin has vowed to win his battle with cancer almost 20 years after he scored the goal in Belfast that sent Ireland to the 1994 World Cup finals in America.
The former Portsmouth midfielder revealed to the Irish Sun that he is fighting the disease after an operation to remove a kidney.
The 45-year-old will learn next month if the surgery to remove the organ and a cancerous tumor in Bristol was successful.
Now a youth team coach with Portsmouth, he told the Sun how he first noticed something was wrong six weeks ago.
McLoughlin explained, “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.
“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 traveled 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.
“The best way I could describe it was it felt like I was having period pain. 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 tumor on the kidney and it would have to come out.”
GIOVANNI Trapattoni is staying on as Ireland manager after an extraordinary FAI board meeting and showdown talks with chief executive John Delaney in Dublin.
Trap’s future was helped by the 4-1 win in the Faroes last week, just days after a record 6-1 home defeat to Germany piled the pressure on the Italian.
The FAI board met on their return from Torshavn when they opted not to sack Trapattoni – even though the manager himself thought he was on the way out.
Instead they called Trapattoni to a meeting with Delaney in Dublin on Friday when he was informed what the FAI now expects of him as they move forward.
The FAI confirmed they would stick with Trapattoni after the two-hour board meeting on Wednesday of last week.
A statement said, “While disappointed like everyone with the poor result and performance against Germany and understanding the frustration of some of our supporters, we believe the current position in the group means that qualification for Brazil in 2014 remains a realistic and achievable prospect.
“We reaffirm that Giovanni Trapattoni is to remain in charge of the national team.
“The board recognizes the depth of feeling surrounding the team, the performances, the results and the manager, reflecting the passion which everyone in Irish football has for the game and will continue to work closely with the manager.”
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