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Tributes as ex-Ireland soccer star dies at 44; Player who scored shock goal against Man Utd found in car.

Byline: ROBERT HYNES

A FORMER Republic of Ireland under-21 soccer star who famously scored against Manchester United in the FA Cup has been found dead in a car.

Police were called to the Wigg Island nature reserve in Runcorn, Cheshire, England, in the early hours of Wednesday where they discovered the body of Kieron Durkan, 44.

Tributes have flooded in following the death of the former Wrexham player who netted against the Red Devils in the cup thriller.

Mr Durkan wrote himself into the club's folklore when he gave the team an unlikely 1-0 lead against Alex Ferguson's side in January 1995.

The fourth round game at Old Trafford eventually ended in a 5-2 victory for United, but the midfielder's opener is still remembered today.

Durkan also scored in the previous round against Premier League side Ipswich.

Mickey Thomas, a former Wrexham, Man Utd and Wales winger, said the death was "a real tragedy".

He added: "I remember him as a young lad coming up through the ranks and of course there was that goal against Man Utd.

"He was a really nice lad and his family will be devastated. My thoughts are with them."

Pete Jones, chairman of the Wrexham Supporters Trust, said: "It is extremely sad news to hear.

"His name will always live on in Wrexham with those special goals - that one that put Ipswich out of the FA Cup and the goal which put Wrexham 1-0 up against Man Utd.

"He's never been far from Wrexham fans' hearts."

A Wrexham statement said: "The club has been so saddened to hear of the untimely passing of former player Kieron Durkan at just 44 years of age."

Durkan played for a number of English clubs and was a youth player at Crewe.

He told detectives more than 20 years ago he had not been abused by ex-Crewe coach Barry Bennell who was jailed for 31 years for sex attacks on 12 boys.

Durkan made more than 250 appearances in the Football League.

news@irishmirror.ie

He was a really nice lad and his family will be devastated. My thoughts are with them MICKEY THOMAS ON TRAGIC DEATH OF KIERON DURKAN

CAPTION(S):

PREDATOR CAGED Barry Bennell

EMOTIONAL Mickey Thomas

ON THE BALL Kieron Durkan goes past Man Utd's Paul Scholes in 1995

CULT HERO Kieron Durkan

sadly missed Ex-Republic of Ireland U21 player Kieron Durkan

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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Mar 4, 2018
Words:397
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