Belfast Telegraph

Injured Paddy ends career with promotion

 

By Graham Luney

It was a tearful end to Paddy McCourt's career last night as he suffered an injury during Finn Harps' promotion-relegation play-off second leg tie with Limerick.

The 34-year-old had been hoping to hang up his boots on a massive high but a career that had been blighted by injury ended on a sadly familiar note.

McCourt had already given his side the advantage, stroking home a penalty for a 1-0 first leg victory at Finn Park but he ended up looking on from the bench as his side finished the job, winning 2-0 on the night and 3-0 on aggregate to seal a place in next year's top tier in the League of Ireland.

With his golden boots now hung up, McCourt has taken up a job as Head of Derry's City's Academy, starting next year.

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.

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 also 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.

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.

Belfast Telegraph

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