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Kyle's highs and lows... from shameful simulation to national goal hero

By Stuart McKinley

Published 30/07/2016

Kyle Lafferty celebrates scoring on his 50th appearance for Northern Ireland
Kyle Lafferty celebrates scoring on his 50th appearance for Northern Ireland

Lows: In May 2009, Lafferty was hit with a fine by his club Rangers, followed by a two-match ban from the Scottish Football Association, after an off-the-ball incident with then-Aberdeen defender Charlie Mulgrew.

Lafferty went down as if he had been head-butted as the pair clashed, and Mulgrew was sent off for violent conduct.

Television pictures showed there was minimal contact between the players, and while Lafferty ended up suspended, Mulgrew got off as the red card was later rescinded.

- One of his most embarrassing moments came in February 2010 when he parked his Bentley - personalised number plate and all - in a disabled space.

- His Rangers career was effectively ended in April 2012 when manager Ally McCoist slapped a two-week suspension on the striker for what was labelled a "breach of discipline".

It is believed that the pair had a training ground argument.

- Lafferty's Northern Ireland career was left hanging in the balance when he was sent off just 13 minutes after coming on as a substitute in a 4-2 defeat to Portugal in September 2013.

Michael O'Neill's team led 2-1 when Lafferty came on, before Cristiano Ronaldo hit a hat-trick.

The manager expressed his anger over the striker's conduct after the game. A lengthy heart-to-heart with O'Neill ultimately saved his international career.

- Palermo chairman Maurizio Zamparini was not a big fan of Lafferty. The Kesh man was shipped out of the Italian club in June 2014 after just a single season, with Zamparini criticising him for his off-field activities.

Lafferty was branded "an out of control womaniser", and that was cited as the reason for him being sold to Norwich City.

Highs

- A month before his 19th birthday, Lafferty scored his first Northern Ireland goal in only his third appearance, netting after coming on as a substitute in a friendly away to Finland.

- A year after that controversial incident with Charlie Mulgrew, Lafferty was the Rangers hero as he netted the only goal in a victory over Hibernian that clinched the second of three successive Scottish Premier League titles with three games to spare.

- Again Lafferty recovered quickly from hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons when in the autumn of 2014 - just a year after it looked like his international career could be over - he scored three goals in Northern Ireland's opening three Euro 2016 qualifying games to lay the foundations as the team qualified for the finals. He would go on to finish the campaign with seven goals in nine games.

- Lafferty marked his 50th international cap with his 17th goal when he scored against Belarus in Northern Ireland's final home friendly before the Euro 2016 finals. It was his eighth goal in his last 13 appearances.

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