Ipswich Town legend Paul Mariner dies aged 68
- Credit: Archant
Former Ipswich Town and England footballer Paul Mariner has died aged 68, it has been announced.
The legendary player, who represented the national team between 1977 and 1985, underwent surgery for a brain tumour last year.
Paul's family confirmed his death in a statement on Twitter.
They said he died on July 9 surrounded by his family after a brief battle with brain cancer.
"We would like to thank all of the people who came to see him through his illness for their support and for the messages that were sent to him, they meant a great deal to him and us."
Representatives for both Ipswich Town Football Club and England tweeted the news on Saturday morning, expressing their sadness.
Former teammates paid tribute to "an unbelievable footballer".
The official England Twitter account posted: “We're sad to have learned that Paul Mariner, who made 35 appearances for the #ThreeLions, has passed away at the age of 68.
“Mariner represented England between 1977 and 1985, scoring 13 goals.
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“Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family, friends and former clubs.”
Meanwhile, Ipswich Town FC wrote: “We are devastated to hear the news of the passing of Town legend Paul Mariner at the age of 68.
“The thoughts of everyone at #itfc are with Paul’s family and friends at this sad time.
“Thank you, Paul.”
Having begun his career at Plymouth Argyle, Paul moved to Ipswich Town in 1976 and established himself as a key player in one of the most successful sides in the club's history.
He was part of Sir Bobby Robson's FA Cup winning side of 1978 and went on to lift the 1981 UEFA Cup.
Paul left Town for Arsenal in 1984 and also played for Portsmouth, Wollongong City, Albany Capitals and San Francisco Bay.
He later managed former side Plymouth as well as Toronto FC.
Described as a "true great for the club and country", Paul was inducted into the Ipswich Town Hall of Fame in 2011.
In total, he scored 135 goals for the Blues, across 339 appearances.
Town CEO Mark Ashton said: “It’s incredibly sad news and the thoughts of everyone at the Club are with Paul's family and friends at this very difficult time."
Club bosses said Town will wear black armbands at this afternoon’s fixture with Dartford as a mark of respect.