FORMER Wales defender Phil Dwyer, Cardiff's record appearance holder, has died at the age of 68.

Dwyer, who was known as 'Mr Cardiff City' or 'Joe' by supporters, made 575 appearances for the Bluebirds between 1972 and 1985.

A statement on Cardiff's official website read: "Cardiff City Football Club is extremely saddened to learn of the passing of the club's record appearance holder, Phil Dwyer, at the age of 68.

"Our thoughts go out to Phil's friends and family at this extremely sad time. Rest in peace, Phil - a true Cardiff City great."

Dwyer was born in Grangetown, just a short distance from Ninian Park, on October 28, 1953 and joined Cardiff at the age of 16.

He made his first-team debut in October 1972 and became a firm fans' favourite for his wholehearted approach, whether he played as a full-back or as a centre-half.

Dwyer became Cardiff captain and made 575 appearances in 14 seasons at the club.

The National Wales:

He finished his career with a brief spell at Rochdale and worked as a policeman and a legal representative, pictured above, after his playing days.

Dwyer won 10 caps for Wales, scoring the winner on his debut in a 1-0 friendly victory against Iran in April 1978.

He also scored the following month in a 3-1 British Home Championship defeat to England in Cardiff.