Tributes paid to Eamonn Dolan

Former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international died from cancer on Monday

 

The former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international Eamonn Dolan has died at the age of 48.

Dolan, who played alongside his twin brother Patrick for Ireland’s youth teams under Liam Tuohy, had worked as the Reading academy manager for over a decade.

Dolan, who also played for Birmingham, West Ham and Exeter, joined the Royals in 2004.

Dolan, who also took charge of Reading’s first team as caretaker boss for one game against Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2013, died of cancer on Monday.

A statement on Reading’s official website read: “It is with the deepest and most profound sadness that Reading Football Club regretfully inform its supporters of the passing of Eamonn Dolan, who tragically lost a brave battle against cancer on Monday evening at the age of 48.

“Our sincere condolences go out to his family and many, many friends. Eamonn was, and will forever remain, one of our own.”

Dolan’s playing career was cut short due to testicular cancer in 1993 when he was at Exeter, who he later went on to manage.

During his time as Reading’s academy boss, 32 players progressed through the ranks to make their first-team debuts for the club.

Galway-born Dolan also provided assistance to former managers Steve Coppell, Brendan Rodgers, Brian McDermott, Nigel Adkins and Steve Clarke.

Reading fans showed their support for Dolan with a minute’s applause in the the opening home match against Leeds last season, soon after he had started chemotherapy following surgery to remove a tumour from his bladder.

The 21st-minute tribute represented the success Dolan had enjoyed with the club’s promotion-winning under-21 side.

“It is such sad news to hear of his passing,” added FAI chief executive John Delaney. “I have great memories of meeting Eamonn many times at games during his time with Reading. He was just a brilliant person and very engaging. He contributed greatly to the development of many talented Irish players and was very proud of being from Ireland.

“The sympathies of all in Irish football go to Eamonn’s family, his brother Patrick in particular, and his many friends in the game who will be very upset at his untimely death.

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