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In pictures: Paddy McCourt's career ends with promotion as Finn Harps seal Premier Division return

Paddy McCourt celebrates Finn Harps' promotion back to the top flight after the final match on his playing career.
Paddy McCourt celebrates Finn Harps' promotion back to the top flight after the final match on his playing career.
SSE Airtricity League First Division Promotion/Relegation Play-off Series Final Second Leg, Market's Field, Limerick 2/11/2018 Limerick vs Finn Harps Finn Harps’ Paddy McCourt after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson
Paddy McCourt reacts after being taken off with an injury in his final match.
Paddy McCourt in action in his final game.
SSE Airtricity League First Division Promotion/Relegation Play-off Series Final Second Leg, Market's Field, Limerick 2/11/2018 Limerick vs Finn Harps Finn Harps' Paddy McCourt in the dugout Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson
Finn Harps' Paddy McCourt walks out for his last game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson
Finn Harps' Paddy McCourt warms up for his final game.
Paddy McCourt's hair reached its peak during his spell at Derry City.
FAI Carlsberg Cup Final 3/12/2006 Derry City vs Saint Patrick's Athletic Pat McCourt of Derry gets away from his marker Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 11: Paddy McCourt of Celtic celebrates after scoring during the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match between Celtic and Hearts at Celtic Park on September 11, 2010 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Celtic's Paddy McCourt celebrates the opening goal during the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow.
Despite his wonderful skills Paddy McCourt failed to secure a regular starting place at Celtic
Paddy McCourt
Paddy McCourt savours scoring for Northern Ireland against the Faroe Islands
Golden night: Paddy McCourt celebrates his brace against the Faroes in August 2011
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - OCTOBER 11: Paddy McCourt (L) of Northern Ireland competes Frodi Benjaminsen of Faroe Islands (R) during the Euro 2016 Qualifier between Northern Ireland and Faroe Islands at Windsor Park on October 11, 2014 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: Paddy McCourt of Brighton attacks past Jordan Bowery of Rotherham during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Rotherham United at The Amex Stadium on October 25, 2014 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Far right is Celtic and Northern Ireland footballer Paddy McCourt among the Foyle Harps team from 1992 Mallusk NI U-11 Tournament Winners? Picture kindly submitted by Liam Quinn
In March 2015, McCourt played for a Derry City Select against a Northern Ireland Select in the Mark Farren Fund Match by Derry boss Kenny Shiels opted against signing the local man, paving the way for his move to Glenavon.
Moving on: Paddy McCourt has struggled to adjust to life with the Lurgan Blues and will weigh up his options
McCourt helped Glenavon win the Charity Shield against Crusaders. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye
Paddy McCourt could make his final appearance for Finn Harps tonight.
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Paddy McCourt's playing career has come to an end with Finn Harps sealing promotion back to the League of Ireland's Premier Division.

The former Celtic and Northern Ireland star started in the second leg of his club's promotion / relegation play-off tie with Limerick.

McCourt had already given his side the advantage, stroking home a penalty for a 1-0 first leg victory at Finn Park.

His part in the second leg, the final match of his playing career, was short-lived as he left the field less than 20 minutes in having picked up an injury.

Nonetheles,, Mark Timlin and Nathan Boyle struck as Harps saw out promotion, relegating Limerick in the process and it was an achievement that McCourt had certainly played his part in.

McCourt had intended to hang up his boots when Harps were relegated last year but manager Ollie Horgan managed to tempt him back for one final season. Instead of ending in relegation, his career has now finished off in promotion.

McCourt's career has packed the highlight reels as the 34-year-old earned the nickname the Derry Pele for his eye-catching performances for hometown club Derry City and Celtic, where he remains a cult hero.

He joined the Glasgow club in 2008 and spent five years at Parkhead, winning two Premiership titles. He is fondly remembered for a series of stunning strikes for the Hoops, usually at the end of a mazy run.

In international football, McCourt picked up 18 caps and scored a brace against the Faroe Islands including this, a trademark goal:

He missed out on a spot at Euro 2016 to be with his wife Laura, who was undergoing successful surgery to have a brain tumour removed.

And it was for the same reason that, after short spells at Barnsley, Brighton and Luton, McCourt returned home and joined Glenavon in the Irish League.

It ended up being a disappointing half-season at Mourneview Park and was followed by a move to Finn Harps, where he was able to roll back the years, not least when he ghosted past a whole host of Sligo players and dinked home the finish with his inimitable swagger last September.

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