Former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Alan Kelly senior has passed away at the age of 72, following a long battle against cancer.

Kelly won 47 caps for his country, between 1958 and 1973, captaining Ireland against the Soviet Union in a World Cup qualifier in 1972. He went on to manage the national team in a clash at home to Switzerland in 1980.

“Alan Kelly senior was a former record caps holder and a great servant to Irish football," said FAI president David Blood of the native of Bray, County Wicklow.

"He started his playing career in the League of Ireland before moving to Preston North End where he made a club record 514 appearances and became a legend at Deepdale where the Town End was named in his honor in 2001. With the passing of Alan Kelly senior, we have lost one of Ireland’s greatest ever goalkeepers.”

John Delaney, the FAI's chief executive, also paid tribute to Kelly, saying: “Alan Kelly senior will be sadly missed by everyone here in the FAI and by all followers of Irish football.

"He was a stalwart of the Irish team during the 1960s and will always be remembered as one of our greatest ever goalkeepers, a man who wore the Irish jersey with pride and always served his country with distinction.”

One of the late great's sons, Alan junior, is the current Republic of Ireland senior team's goalkeeping coach, having represented his country on 34 times.

Another son of Alan senior, Gary, played between the posts professionally for Oldham.