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22nd Jan 2024

Former Man United player now working as a priest

Callum Boyle

Man United priest

He played alongside Giggs, Beckham and Neville.

Philip Mulryne, a former player for Manchester United and Norwich City, is now a priest of the Catholic Church by the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin.

Mulryne made his debut for Manchester United in 1995 and was a part of their FA Youth Cup winning team of that year, before moving to Norwich City in 1999.

During his time at Old Trafford, Mulryne played 4 times for the first team- once in the league during a 2-0 won against Barnsley and three times in the League Cup – before joining Norwich City for £500,000.

At Carrow Road, he played over 160 games for the Canaries and was part of their team that won promotion to the Premier League in 2004.

He also played for Cardiff City, Leyton Orient and Kings Lynn before retiring.  In terms of international football, he won 27 caps with Northern Ireland.

Following his retirement from football, the 39-year-old enrolled at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome in 2009, the first step on his journey towards becoming a priest.

In November 2017, he was ordained as a deacon in the Catholic Church but Mulryne has now been ordained a priest for the Dominican Order by His Grace Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia OP.

Explaining his transition into priesthood, Mulryne told Norwich’s club website: “It’s hard to pin down a particular moment. I would say it started in my last year at Norwich, not explicitly and I wasn’t thinking about it at that time but I started to get dissatisfied with the whole lifestyle.

“We have a wonderful life as a footballer and I was very privileged, but I found with all the surrounding stuff that eventually there was a kind of emptiness with it. I was quite shocked – why am I not happy when I have everything that young men want?

“It started me on a journey towards exploring my faith again, the faith that I had as a young man. I took a decision to come home for a year and it was really during that year that everything turned upside down.

“I volunteered at a homeless shelter for a while. I started going back to mass and I started praying again on a regular basis. I just found a real sense of fulfilment with it. Football was huge highs and lows and here was something that was giving me a steady sense of contentment.”

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