Shock at death of ex-Norther Ireland captain Alan McDonald, 48
Saturday 23 June 2012
The sudden death of former Northern Ireland football captain Alan McDonald at the age of 48 is devastating news, a close friend from the sport said.
Sammy McIlroy said he was stunned to hear of the loss of his former team mate.
The QPR stalwart won 52 caps for his country and was a member of Northern Ireland's World Cup side in 1986.
McDonald went on to manage Glentoran, winning the Irish League title in 2009, and also coached his country's under-21 side.
An Irish Football Association spokesman said: "We are deeply shocked at the death of Alan, who won over 50 caps for Northern Ireland. To die at such a young age is terrible."
Former Northern Ireland manager Sammy McIlroy, a close friend and former team-mate of McDonald's, said: "I'm shell-shocked. Words can't even enter my head at the moment.
"Forty-eight is so young. Alan was always larger than life - during his career and after.
"I've just spoken to Norman Whiteside and he is devastated."
The Belfast-born footballer was said to have died suddenly while playing golf.
A short statement was also posted on the IFA's official website.
"The Irish FA is saddened by this morning's news of the sudden death of Alan McDonald. Our thoughts are with his family at this time," it read.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea victory parade mocked on Twitter as 'tens of fans' pack the streets of London
Jack Wilshere wins Match of the Day Goal of the Season award after Arsenal fans hijack vote
Young Preston fan has play-off hero Jermaine Beckford's shirt stolen from him at Wembley - which then appears for sale on Gumtree
Chelsea victory parade: Fans chuck celery at Sky News presenter ahead of champion's parade through London
Welcome to West Ham United: the home of deluded fans and the most clueless owners
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 Chelsea victory parade mocked on Twitter as 'tens of fans' pack the streets of London
- 3 US warned by Chinese media to stop meddling or 'war will be inevitable'
- 4 Woman, 21, dies after taking contraceptive pill that 'caused fatal blood clot'
- 5 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people