Alan Knight: Alan McLoughlin was loved on and off the pitch - and Portsmouth fans didn't care he played for Southampton

Alan Knight has paid a touching tribute to the late Alan McLoughlin.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 6:22 pm
Alan McLoughlin during his Pompey playing days.
Alan McLoughlin during his Pompey playing days.

The Pompey Hall of Famer has passed away aged 54 following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Knight shared a dressing room with the midfielder, lovingly known as ‘Macca’ to all, for seven-and-a-half years before coaching together at Fratton Park.

The pair helped the Blues reach the FA Cup semi-finals in 1992, with McLoughlin netting the famous winner against Nottingham Forest in the last eight.

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Alan McLoughlin celebrates Pompey's 1992 FA Cup quarter-final win over Nottingham Forest alongside Alan Knight, left.

They also almost took Pompey to the Premiership a year later, only to be beaten by Leicester City in the play-offs.

Speaking to The News, Knight said: ‘You couldn't get a more genuine and dependable man as Macca as a person or in his professional career. You could trust him with your life - both on and off the pitch.

‘He would tell you as it was, he'd tell you as he thought and everyone that knew him appreciated those qualities that he had.

‘Genuine is a great word to describe him. You'll never have anyone have a bad word to say about him.

‘As a player, the Pompey fans adored Macca. He was one of the few players who can come from Southampton and have that affinity with the supporters. I'd even forgotten that he played for Southampton and I think most Pompey fans don't care.

‘They just saw a quality, class footballer that scored important goals not just domestically but internationally.

‘He didn't always get the accolades he deserved as a creative-midfield player and went a little bit under the radar.

‘I think he could have walked into top-flight teams. We all had ifs, buts and maybes throughout our careers but he had a fantastic career and maybe didn't get the accolades he deserved, especially as a coach.

‘He's a god for the Republic of Ireland for that goal he scored to get them into the 1994 World Cup and everyone remembers the goal for us against Nottingham Forest to get us into the FA Cup semi-finals.

‘I was lucky enough to have played alongside him and also to have worked for him while he was coaching at the club as well.

‘The testament to that would be the players that have come through the academy and worked with Macca.

‘His coaching ability with the youngsters matched his playing ability. Not many can do that.

‘It might sound like I'm saying these things to big him up but I'm not eloquent enough to articulate just how great a man he was.

‘He was just a great guy to have around. He had a wicked sense of humour and I'm devastated by it.

‘It's been a horrible time for him and the family and he battled and battled but unfortunately the disease kept coming back.

‘I'm rocked by the news, like all the fans and lads he's worked with as a player and a coach.

‘It's a really sad day and I'd like to send all my love to his wife Debbie and daughters Abby and Megan.’