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Ex-Northern Ireland player to stand as an independent in election

A former Northern Ireland international goalkeeper has decided to enter politics.

Ballymoney man Jim Platt is to stand as an independent candidate in forthcoming council elections in Middlesbrough.

The goalie moved to Teeside in England's north east in 1971, when he signed for Middlesbrough FC.

He played 481 games for the English side, and received 23 international caps for Northern Ireland.

Mr Platt told local news website Teesside Live he would be contesting the Kader ward in the town.

"I've lived in Middlesbrough for nearly 50 years, I'm passionate about the town - not just the football club - and I love the people.

"This is my home town," he said.

"I honestly think Kader and Middlesbrough would be best looked after by people dedicated to the ward and the town, rather than any national political party.

"I want to make a difference."

Belfast Telegraph