Reading academy manager Eamonn Dolan has died aged 48 after a battle with cancer, the club have confirmed.
Dolan underwent chemotherapy last August following an operation to remove a tumour from his bladder.
His playing career, which included spells with West Ham, Birmingham and Exeter, was cut short in 1993 when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
He was appointed Reading caretaker manager for one match following the dismissal of Brian McDermott in 2013.
The Irishman brought hundreds of players through the Royals’ academy during more than a decade with the club, including Steve Sidwell, Shane Long and Jem Karacan.
He was previously manager of Exeter City between 2002 and 2004.
In a statement on the club’s website, Reading chairman and former owner Sir John Madejski described Dolan as “the most amazing gentleman you could wish to meet.”
He continued: “He was just the most amazing gentleman that you could wish to meet.
“Loyal, upstanding, and his enthusiasm and devotion to me and Reading Football Club was overwhelming.
“I know that we are all saddened by what has happened. But not many people can pass on and leave such a fantastic legacy behind.”
Numerous past and present Reading players have also paid their tributes on Twitter, including former Royals keeper Adam Federici: “Devastated over the news of Eamonn passing, was such an amazing person and helped so many of us over the years. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. Such sad news.”