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

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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