'A true gentleman': Former Irish international Arthur Fitzsimons passes away aged 88

'A true gentleman': Former Irish international Arthur Fitzsimons passes away aged 88
Arthur Fitzsimons stands in front of an FAI commemorative display in honour of the international. Picture: Barry Cregg /Sportsfile

The FAI has paid tribute to former Ireland player Arthur Fitzsimons, who has passed away aged 88.

The Dubliner enjoyed a successful career, spending 10 years in England with Middlesbrough, making over 200 appearances for the club.

Fitzsimons also enjoyed two separate periods in the League of Ireland which bookended his career.

He lined out with Shelbourne before his move to England and finished up his playing career at Drogheda.

The forward would later manage both teams and would be inducted into the FAI Hall of Fame in 2009.

Fitzsimons earned 26 caps for Ireland and scored seven goals having made his debut in 1949 against Finland.

"The name of Arthur Fitzsimons belongs on the list of great Irish football men," said FAI CEO John Delaney.

"He grew up with Shelbourne in his blood and went on to play for them before his successful move to England

"As an international player, Arthur was skilful, committed and capable of making an impact in big games, just like when he scored twice away to Netherlands in a famous 4-1 victory in 1956.

"Arthur was a proud League of Ireland man and maintained his connection to the domestic game throughout his career. After he finished playing, Arthur spent time in charge of Drogheda, Shamrock Rovers and a League of Ireland XI.

"We send our deepest condolences to Arthur's family and friends at this time and we will remember Arthur at an international game that is suitable for his family.

"He was a true gentleman."

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