Belfast Telegraph

Former X Factor star Quigg aiming to hit right note for Portstewart as they bid to deliver Irish Cup upset

By Graham Luney

A football club aiming to pull off a famous cup giant-killing is banking on a touch of the X Factor.

Portstewart FC will be huge underdogs when they take on Glenavon in the Tennent's Irish Cup today - but at least one of the team will be on song.

The minnows from the Northern Ireland Intermediate League have former X Factor hunk Eoghan Quigg in their squad.

Back in 2008, Quinn, then a 16-year-old blonde, baby-faced crooner, finished third in the ITV talent show, behind the winner Alexandra Burke and runner-up, JLS.

These days, however, he's a baby-faced assassin for the boys from the north coast.

Now aged 24, Quigg is hitting all the right notes for Portstewart FC.

His manager has promised he can lead the sing-song if they dump the holders out of the cup.

"I like to keep things low key," Quigg told the Belfast Telegraph ahead of the fifth round clash against the Danske Bank Premiership side.

"But this Irish Cup game against Glenavon has got the boys buzzing, and hopefully I can keep scoring goals for the team. My recent form has been good so a goal in this one would be nice."

He continued: "I was playing with Coagh United before but they suffered relegation and I got the call from Gary (Portstewart manager Gary Taylor) and I knew a lot of the boys at the club.

"I had a few offers but the Portstewart one appealed to me and I'm really enjoying it.

"The club is well run and the boys are great, all lovely fellas.

"We've all tried our best to stay in decent shape over Christmas and go easy on the turkey.

"I get the X Factor comments everywhere so I'm well used to that and can deal with that banter. I'll give it back too.

"I've developed a thick skin for that, I've had the spotlight but this time it's about what Portstewart can do as a team.

"Unfortunately Glenavon can't come to our place as the Cup rules have changed, but it's part of the fun of it all, those big away days."

Quigg was 16 when his X factor adventure changed his life.

He had some memorable moments on the show, most notably reaching the final and dating fellow contestant Diana Vickers.

Quigg added: "I was still in school so to just change from going to studies every day to living in London was a big change for me. I feel it was one of the best experiences I have ever had."

The singing and showbiz life soon faded as he opted to perform on the football stage instead, with Coagh.

Portstewart boss Taylor moved to sign up Quigg, who lives in Londonderry, in the summer.

Taylor said: "Eoghan joined us for pre-season in August and he's our second top goalscorer, he's been doing very well for the team."

He added: "We tried to get him from Dungiven but he moved to Coagh United and he has scored in three of our last four matches.

"He's always been someone who can score goals.

"He went back to university after X Factor but he's gigging again and that could mean a quick exit for him after matches on a Saturday.

"He's a good lad and hopefully he can make a big impact for us against Glenavon.

"Certainly he can lead the sing-song if we win."

Quigg doesn't have a gig scheduled for this weekend, so if Portstewart can make a big noise at Mourneview he will be in fine voice.

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