|view McLoughlin's match-by-match record
"Alan Mac" joined Swindon in August 1986, signing on a free transfer from Manchester United. He made his debut on 6th September, in an unfamiliar role on the right side of defence in a 2-2 draw at Newport County. He didn't fit in well with Lou Macari's long ball style, and just seven months and nine appearances later, he moved to Torquay on loan.
His Swindon career looked to be over when he returned to Torquay at the start of the following season for another loan spell - but, after Chris Kamara was suspended by the club after an incident at Shrewsbury, McLoughlin returned to the club and back into the first team squad. It was another season, however, before he became a first team regular - after a couple of games in the right back role again, he was restored to midfield for a local derby with Oxford at the beginning of February 1989, and he scored in a 3-0 win. He stayed in the side for the rest of the season.
It was under Ossie Ardiles that McLoughlin really blossomed. As the attacking player in Ossie's diamond midfield formation, he was ever present - chipping in with sixteen goals, four of which were in the Littlewoods Cup. He capped off a fine season by scoring the winning goal in the Play-Off final at Wembley - a shot from outside the area, deflected into his own net by Gary Bennett.
By now, McLoughlin's performances had won him international recognition, and, after the Wembley triumph, he joined up with the Ireland squad for the World Cup in Italy. He became the first Swindon player ever to appear in a World Cup Finals, coming on as a substitute in the matches with England and Egypt.
By the time he had returned, Swindon had been demoted by the Football League for making irregular payments to players. With the club in financial trouble, players had to be sold - and McLoughlin's success meant he was worth most. He wrote himself into the Swindon record books one more time - leaving for Southampton in December 1990, for a club record £1 million.
date of birth