Niall Quinn has added to the many tributes to Alan McLoughlin, recalling the late midfielder's surprise call-up to the 1990 World Cup squad.
McLoughlin succumbed to cancer on Tuesday at the age of just 54.
The Manchester-born player's name will forever be remembered as that which secured the Republic of Ireland a place at USA '94.
But McLoughlin could hardly have had a more high-profile introduction to Jack Charlton's squad. His first cap came as a substitute in Ireland's first ever World Cup game with England in Cagliari.
Barely three months earlier, the then Swindon Town player had spurned an invitation to play for England B against his parent's native country at Turner's Cross.
Millwall's Gary Waddock had originally been named in Charlton's squad of 22 for the World Cup in Italy.
But days before the tournament, as they prepared in Malta, he was told that McLoughlin would be taking his place.
"Alan was a brilliant lad who really added to the dressing room when he came into Jack Charlton's set-up", Quinn told Virgin Media Sport.
"He came in at the last minute in 1990 - at the airport - none of us had really met him before then. I'd played a 'B' game with him but hadn't much to do with him.
"And he arrived on the scene in 1990, took Gary Waddock's place famously. And I'll never forget, he went around to every player when he arrived... and he said, 'look I know you guys are feeling for Gary Waddock, but I want to be part of you, and I'm more Irish than you could possibly imagine'.
"And it was a stirring thing to do. And from that moment on he played a huge part in our dressing room.
"He played like he lived - he supported people, he kept things simple, he was always trying to help. His game as about doing the right thing at the right time.
"But so too was him as a lad. He was always part of the gang, but would go a little bit further than everybody else to make sure guys were OK... welcoming new people into the squad.
"He went around to every player when he arrived in Rome for Italia 90 and said 'look, I know you guys are feeling for Gary Waddock, but I want to be part of you.
"He played like he lived. He supported people."
Niall Quinn pays tribute to former teammate Alan McLoughlin. pic.twitter.com/NN9xNe8bU8
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) May 5, 2021
"All-in-all, when you add it up, [a] brilliant guy who was unsung in may ways because he didn't have the flashy moves that some players had, but his work-rate on the pitch, the type of fella that he was, he couldn't just let you down - he had to do the right thing.
"He was a very very serious operator who brought so much to it.
"I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago myself, and I can't believe it's happened so quickly to him. He wasn't well of course, but the shock is huge.
"To a man, the lads that I've spoken to, are all a little bit shellshocked because he's the first of that core to go."
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