Northern Ireland are mourning the death of Jimmy McIlroy, who has passed away aged 86.
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Northern Ireland are mourning the passing of Jimmy McIlroy, who has passed away aged 86.
The forward's career spanned 15 years, starting out at Glentoran in 1949 before moving to Burnley the following year and making 497 appearances for the Lancashire club between 1950 and 1962. He helped win the First Division in 1960 and had a stand named in his honour at Turf Moor, and was described by Burnley as "our greatest ever player" in the club statement announcing his death.
McIlroy was also part of Northern Ireland's squad at the 1958 FIFA World Cup, reaching the quarter-finals at the tournament in Sweden. In total he won 55 caps for his country.
Current Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has paid tribute, saying: "Jimmy was one of the greatest ever players to have worn the green shirt of Northern Ireland. As well as being a hugely talented footballer who reached the highest levels of the game, he was also a fantastic person and anyone who ever met him was struck by his warmth, his humility and his passion for football. Jimmy will be sadly missed but what he achieved on the pitch for Northern Ireland will always be remembered."