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Alan Spavin R.I.P.

// 21 Mar 2016

Dundalk FC are saddened to learn of the death of Alan Spavin. Dundalk supporters who enjoyed Dundalk FC’s first league championship success under Jim McLaughlin may remember Alan who joined the team for the final five matches of that season. It was with Preston North End that Alan made his name making over 450 appearances becoming a true Preston North End legend.

You can read more about Alan Spavin’s Preston Career on their website here>>

The Dundalk Connection by Jim Murphy

In Feb 1976 Dundalk, in a strong League position with just half dozen games remaining, ran into a spate of injuries of which the most serious was to mid-field dynamo Seanie McLaughlin, knocking him out for the rest off the season and putting the title prospects at risk. Jim McLaughlin made contact with Preston wing-half Spavin and within days he made his club debut on Feb 29th with a 2-1 victory over Shelbourne at Oriel Park. Dundalk got off lightly for playing Spavin before his clearance had been received, being fined £50.

Alan Spavin

He played in four more league matches, all undefeated, as Dundalk swept to Jim McLaughlin’s first Championship. Alan’s Dundalk stats read played 5, won 4 and drew 1. For three seasons 1974, 1975 and 1976 he was a teammate of Tommy McConville with the North American Soccer League side Washington Diplomats and both were near ever-presents during this period, with Alan making 56 appearances and Tommy appearing in 57.

What They Said About Him

In its match report for the last home game, against Cork Hibernians, the Dundalk Democrat ticked all the boxes : “By general agreement he was Man of the Match ….  mastery of the finer points of the game …. His ball control …. Ability to beat opponents …. Distribution of the ball. He also showed himself a gentleman both on and off the pitch as the club management and Jim McLaughlin found in their dealings with him.”

Peter Byrne Irish Times: “At this belated stage of his career he’s no mid-field dynamo but by playing the simple ball quickly he still contrived to make a bigger impact in this vital area than any of those around him …. Economical in everything he assayed …. Cool, professional performance.”