Belfast Telegraph

Paddy McCourt won't retire after cutting short Luton deal to return home

By Stuart McKinley

Northern Ireland international Paddy McCourt has turned his back on the full-time game in England midway through a two-year contract at Luton Town.

The 32-year-old's deal has been terminated by mutual consent after he asked the club to let him come home to his native Londonderry for personal reasons.

It is understood that an illness within his immediate family is behind McCourt's decision to call time on his professional career across the water.

McCourt, however, has no plans to retire just yet and while Derry City manager Kenny Shiels is understood to have other targets in mind ahead of the League of Ireland transfer window opening, the prospect of signing arguably the most talented player to come out of the city in years may be too much to resist.

Luton manager Nathan Jones said: "Paddy has had to face up to some personal problems in recent weeks and at the end of the season he came to me about his future and it was soon clear to me that he wanted to return to Northern Ireland to be closer to his family and to play there again.

"It wasn't a straightforward decision because Paddy has done well for us, but in the end we reached an agreement and he goes with my blessing."

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