Stoke City legend Terry Conroy in hospital

Terry Conroy Terry Conroy scored 66 goals in 333 league and cup appearances for Stoke

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Former Stoke City winger Terry Conroy, who scored in their 1972 League Cup final win, is seriously ill after undergoing emergency surgery.

The 64-year-old ex-Republic of Ireland international has a suspected Vascular aneurism and was described as critical but stable in hospital in the city.

Conroy, who played 333 times for Stoke, headed their first goal in the 2-1 win over Chelsea in the 1972 final.

He went to Hong Kong before returning to England with Crewe Alexandra.

Conroy, who was capped 26 times by the Republic of Ireland, was admitted to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire on Sunday.

'Mr Stoke City'

A trust spokesman said: "Mr Conroy is conscious and able to communicate, and has been joined at his bedside by two of his three daughters.

"His wife and another daughter are returning home from Australia to be by his side.

"The family would like to thank all those well wishers who have expressed their concern but have asked that Mr Conroy's privacy be respected during his recovery."

Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes told the club's website: "Terry is Mr Stoke City through and through, as well as being a player of legendary status at this club during the most successful period in our history.

"Our thoughts are with Terry and his family at this time and we are all praying and hoping for the best in his recovery."

Conroy joined Stoke from the Irish club Glentoran in March 1967.

He left the Victoria Ground for Hong Kong club Bulova in 1979 and returned to England in 1980 to play for Crewe, scoring five goals in 37 league appearances.

Conroy has continued his association with Stoke, working as a match-day host, and was at the Britannia Stadium for Saturday's 4-0 win over Newcastle United.

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