TRIBUTES have been paid to former Sligo Rovers player Tommy Keane, who collapsed and died after playing in an indoor soccer tournament.
Keane (44) featured in eleven games for Rovers in the 1991/ 1992 season: seven in the league and four in the League Cup.
Dublin-born Keane then returned to Galway United.
Former colleague Gavin Dykes said : "I was shocked when I heard the news.
"Tommy was a very quiet lad, but also a very talented footballer.
He was with us for a short while and I think his first love was always Galway United."
Keane was a member of the Galway United team which won the FAI Cup in 1991.
He was named ' Man of the Match' for his display against Shamrock Rovers.
Keane scored in every round of the Cup up to the final and set up Johnny Glynn for the only goal.
Dermot Keely was the Rovers manager who signed Keane.
Keane had participated in an indoor tournament at Our Lady's Boys Cub centre on the Sea Road, Galway, last Friday in memory of ex-player and official, Noel Crowley, who died in January, 2012.
The father of one collapsed as he was going home.
He was rushed to University College Hospital, but was pronounced dead.
He is survived by his wife, Paula, and son, Tommy Jnr and lived on Headford Road.
QPR manager Harry Redknapp signed Keane when he was in charge at Bournemouth in the mid-1980's.
Bournemouth played Galway United in a friendly and during the trip to Ireland Redknapp went to watch a game between under 15 sides.
Keane stood out and the then Bournemouth boss snapped him up.
He spent a number of seasons with Bournemouth before moving to Colchester United in 1988. He then returned to Galway. FAI President Paddy McCaul said: "Tommy Keane will always be remembered for the part he played in Galway United's FAI Cup win in 1991.
"He was a great player and news of his death has come as a great shock."
Airtricity League Director Fran Gavin said: "Tommy Keane was one of the best players of his generation.
"News of his passing at such a young age has come as a great shock to everybody involved in the league."