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The man who led Brighton and Hove Albion out at the 1983 FA Cup final has passed away following a battle with cancer

The former Ireland international, Tony Grealish, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 56.

Grealish, who was born in London to an Irish father, represented the Boys in Green 45 times between 1976 and 1985. He made his debut against Norway in a 3-0 win and also captained the side under manager Eoin Hand.

He was also made captain for the day as Brighton and Hove Albion were defeated in the 1983 FA Cup final by Manchester United during a club career which also took in spells at Leyton Orient, Luton Town, West Bromwich Albion, Manchester City, Rotherham United and Walsall.

The FAI has paid tribute to Grealish with president Paddy McCaul saying: "It is with great sadness that we heard of Tony Grealish's passing after battling illness so bravely. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time. He will be remembered as a great servant of Irish football who was part of the international set-up under John Giles and Eoin Hand that came so close to qualifying for major tournaments and helped change Ireland's fortunes at that level of the game."

FAI Chief Executive John Delaney said: "Tony Grealish was one of my footballing heroes when I was a child and I always remembered him as a great competitor who always gave his all for Ireland. I remember him playing in the FA Cup Final for Brighton against Manchester United and he had an excellent career. He will be missed by Irish football and we will be paying tribute to him at the forthcoming international against Georgia."

Grealish is survived by his partner Wendy, children Garret and Jordana, grandchildren Harrison and Joshua, his mother Nora, brother Brian, sisters Anne and Christine and ex-wife Pippa.

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