Former Brighton and Hove Albion defender Paul McCarthy died at the age of 45 yesterday (Sunday 19 February) after a heart attack.
McCarthy played for the Seagulls from 1988 to 1996 and captained the side for part of his final season.
On leaving the Goldstone, the Irishman joined Wycombe Wanderers and was instrumental in their 2001 FA Cup run to the semi-finals.
He went on to play for Oxford United and non-league Hornchurch and he also captained Ebbsfleet when they won the FA Trophy in 2008.
Later he became assistant manager of the Kent club.
Albion said: “Born in Cork, Republic of Ireland, McCarthy grew up playing football with close friend Roy Keane. Paul arrived at Albion as a trainee in July 1988 from his local side Rockmount.
“He signed a full professional contract with the Seagulls in April 1989, making his first-team debut against Bradford City in March 1990, where he created the winning goal in a 2-1 victory.
“The defender represented his country at youth team level up to the under-21s where he was appointed captain in November 1992. He was named the Republic of Ireland Under-21 Player of the Year in November 1993.
“He took over the captaincy from Steve Foster in the 1995-96 season as Albion battled in vain to avoid relegation into the old Division Three.
“The Irishman left the south coast at the end of that season for Wycombe Wanderers and was part of the Chairboys squad that reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 2001.
“He later served Oxford United, Hornchurch, Ebbsfleet United and Crowborough Athletic and lived in the East Sussex town.
“The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Paul’s family and friends at this sad time.”