Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville star Conor Devlin will contest allegation he assaulted rival

By Chris Kilpatrick

Cliftonville goalkeeper Conor Devlin - a former Manchester United player - is contesting claims he attacked a rival Irish League star on a night out.

Devlin, who won the league with the Belfast side last season, is accused of assaulting Glentoran winger Jim O'Hanlon outside a Belfast nightclub.

Twenty-two-year-old Devlin, from Hightown Rise in Newtownabbey, denies any wrongdoing.

At Laganside Magistrates Court yesterday a date was set for the single charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm to be contested. Devlin was not present at the court. Two others will give evidence at the hearing next month.

Glentoran starlet O'Hanlon said he required seven staples to a head wound after an incident in January.

O'Hanlon had been out with friends at the Odyssey complex to celebrate his girlfriend's birthday.

During the night there was said to have been a verbal exchange between O'Hanlon and Devlin which it is alleged spilled into violence.

The 20-year-old – who has played more than 100 games for the Glens – said he was detained overnight in hospital as a result of his injuries.

They included a suspected broken nose and split lip.

Devlin was accused of having caused the injuries and was interviewed by police shortly after the incident.

Devlin is one of the most high-profile players in the Irish League having been signed as a teenager by Manchester United.

He also had spells with Aston Villa, Hartlepool and Brentford and has featured in Northern Ireland squads and represented his country at under-21 level.

PROFILE

Conor Devlin is one of the most high-profile players in the Irish League.

At 16 he was signed by Premier League giants Manchester United and also had spells with Aston Villa, Hartlepool and Brentford.

He has featured in Northern Ireland squads and represented his country at under-21 level.

The 22-year-old joined Cliftonville in 2012. He was part of Cliftonville's championship winning team last season and has been tipped for selection for the full Northern Ireland squad again on the back of his performances for the Solitude club. He joined the north Belfast side two years ago.

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