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Former England international striker Paul Mariner has died following a battle with brain cancer.

The FA confirmed on Saturday morning the passing of the ex-Ipswich Town and Arsenal striker at the age of 68.

Mariner scored 139 goals in 339 games for Ipswich and was a member of their FA Cup winning side of 1978 and the team that won the UEFA Cup in 1981.

He also earned 35 caps for England scored 13 times for his country.

A statement declared: “We're sad to have learned that Paul Mariner, who made 35 appearances for the Three Lions, has passed away at the age of 68.

“Mariner represented England between 1977 and 1985, scoring 13 goals.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family, friends and former clubs.”

Paul Mariner was a regular for England in the 80s

Mariner's family subsequently released a statement of their own, confirming his recent battle with illness.

It read: "We regretfully inform you that Paul passed away peacefully on the 9th of July surrounded by his family, after a brief battle with brain cancer.

"We would like to thank all the people who came to see him through his illness for their support and for the message that were sent to him, they meant a great deal to him and us.

"A special thank you must go to the NHS and the unbelievable care he received when he most needed it and for that we, as a family, will forever be in your debt.

"Paul lived a full life and was fortunate enough to represent a group of fantastic football clubs as well as his country, all of which meant the world to him.

"Anyone who knew Paul will attest to his fantastic sense of humour, his passion for life and for his work.

"He will be sorely missed by everyone who was ever around him and by those most close to him."

Paul Mariner during his time as Toronto coach
(Image: REUTERS)

A tweet from Ipswich read: “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.”

Before returning to the UK earlier this year, he had most recently been working in the United States, where he had coached FC Toronto, as a colour commentator for New England Revolution.

ITV presenter Mark Pougatch paid tribute, declaring: "Desperately sad news this weekend. Lucky enough to have known Paul & what a lovely man he was.

"His goal took England to the 82 World Cup. We will pay tribute on our Final preview show tonight 10.55 @ITV. #RIPMarrers"

Plymouth would add: "The Argyle family is devastated to learn of the passing of legendary former striker and manager, Paul Mariner.

"Paul made 155 appearances, scoring 61 times, between 1973-76, before managing the club between 2009/10.

"Our thoughts are with Paul's family and friends."