QUEENS Park Rangers fans have started a heartfelt campaign to retire the number five shirt, in the memory of Alan McDonald.
The former centre-half recorded over 400 appearances for the London club between 1981 and 1997 and featured in manager Jim Smith’s side for the League Cup Final in 1986.
That same year, he represented Northern Ireland at the World Cup in Mexico.
Season ticket holder Rob Eaton is behind the initiative and has appealed to Northern Ireland fans to support it.
“Alan was a hero to so many people and gave everything he could to the game and our club,” Rob told Sports Ulster.
“So many of our fans have personal memories of him, simply because he was so approachable and friendly. We regularly saw him signing autographs, sharing stories and having a kick-about with the fans.
“We’re hoping to present the petition to chairman Tony Fernandes and it would be great to get as many signatures from Northern Ireland fans, too.
“The biggest memory I have has to be the ovation he received when he returned from a loan spell at Swindon, right at the end of his career, and then finished the match in goal.
“Big Mac was a true inspiration and a lovely, lovely guy who loved QPR. I am also hoping to collate as many stories as possible from our fans, to show his family just how much he meant to us.”
The club is aware of the campaign and one of its spokespeople said: “We cannot comment at this stage, but needless to say we will ensure we honour Alan in the best way possible.”