BILLY McAdams, the former Wanderers and Northern Ireland centre-forward, has died at the age of 68.

The Irish international, who replaced Nat Lofthouse in the number nine shirt at Burnden Park, died in Furness General Hospital having lived in the Barrow area since retiring from the game.

A clever player, Belfast-born McAdams joined Wanderers from Manchester City for £15,000 in September 1960 and was transferred to Leeds 18 months later for the same fee, having scored 29 goals in 52 league and cup appearances.

McAdams represented Northern Ireland on 17 occasions, his most memorable being at a packed Windsor Park in 1960 when he scored a hat-trick against West Germany.

He came to England having established his reputation with Glanavon and in addition to scoring prolifically for City, Wanderers and Leeds, he had spells with QPR, Barrow and Brentford.

Barrow and City, then managed by ex-Wanderer Peter Reid, played a benefit match to raise funds for the quietly-spoken Irishman in 1993 after it was revealed he was struggling with ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) or 'Yuppie Flu' and was on invalidity benefit. Thanks to advice from Nat Lofthouse, McAdams received financial support in his later years from the Professional Footballers' Association.

A funeral service will take place at St Luke's Church, Barrow on Friday.