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Wednesday 26 July 2017

From player to prayer as ex-Utd star is ordained

Philip Mulryne is now a priest
Philip Mulryne is now a priest

A Former Manchester United player who once earned €600,000 a year has entered the priesthood.

Philip Mulryne (39) was ordained by Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, OP, in St Saviour's Church, Dominick Street, Dublin, at the weekend.

He will be assigned to the Dominican priory at Newbridge, Co Kildare, this summer to join the chaplaincy team at Newbridge College.

The archbishop travelled from Rome to deliver his homily, in which he addressed the former footballer who took to the field alongside David Beckham.

"After mature deliberation, dear Brother Philip, you have shown your readiness to embrace the service to which you have been called," he said.

"Whatever gain you had, you have counted as loss. In a real sense, your experience as an athlete has helped to prepare you for this moment - you have known the meaning of working hard to attain a goal, and now the goal is Christ."

When he was 14-years-old, Belfast-born Fr Mulryne was spotted by a Manchester United scout.

He made a good impression at the subsequent trial and eventually joined the youth squad before signing a four-year professional contract after finishing secondary school in 1994.

Joining the first team squad alongside Beckham, Andy Cole and Paul Scholes, he was unable to secure a regular role in Alex Ferguson's side.

He left Manchester to continue his career with Norwich City, where he played 135 times in a six-year-spell and reportedly earned up to €600,000 a year.

He then enjoyed short spells with Cardiff City and Leyton Orient.

Suspended

He played 27 times for Northern Ireland and scored three goals. In 2005, he was thrown out of the squad for a breach of dis- cipline and suspended from two World Cup qualifying games.

After officially retiring from football in 2009, he studied philosophy and theology before entering the Dominican novitiate house in Cork.

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