A footballer who scored one of the most iconic goals in Wrexham's history has died.

In a statement a spokesman for Wrexham AFC said the club has been saddened to hear of the untimely death of former player Kieron Durkan, at the age of 44.

Mr Durkan begin his footballing career playing youth football in Runcorn and Widnes, before attending training with Crewe Alexandra and Manchester City, before Mick Buxton brought him to Wrexham.

He progressed through the various age groups to sign a YTS with the Reds in 1990, with both the Youth and Reserve teams, collecting Welsh Youth Cup winners’ medals after beating Swansea City and Cardiff City in successive finals.

He made his senior debut in September 1991, as a second half substitute for Mickey Thomas at Mansfield Town. Further appearances came before he emerged as a more regular member of the team in 1994/5.

These displays encouraged the Republic of Ireland to select him for their U21 squad and two caps followed against England and Austria.

A Wrexham AFC spokesman said: "After coming through the ranks, he patiently waited on his first team chances, but always had a smile on his face and went onto make his mark in the club’s history.

"Affectionately know as Kizza to all at the Racecourse, he will always be remembered for his goal in the 2-1 FA Cup win over Premier League Ipswich Town in 1993/94, when he scored a superb right-footed volley that nearly burst the net.

"That set up a fourth-round visit to Old Trafford to face reigning champions Manchester United – when he was at it again, to score an early goal and give us a 1-0 lead – a moment that the travelling supporters present will never forget.

"Our deepest sympathies go to his family and friends at such a sad time."

Mr Durkan was known as a fine crosser of the ball and Stockport County signed him for £100,000 in February 1996, going on to play in their promotion season of 1996/97, while also reaching the semi-finals of the Coca Cola Cup.

In March 1998, he joined Macclesfield Town, helping them to promotion. He would make 99 league and cup appearances for The Silkmen before moving to Rochdale in the summer of 2001 – scoring 13 times.

There was a return to Wales in 2003, when Kieron signed for Swansea City, managed by Brian Flynn, his boss at the Racecourse. There were also stints with Caernarfon Town, Cefn Druids, Runcorn and Leek Town.

After retiring from football, Kieron is believed to have been a PCSO in the Widnes area.