Former Norwich City and Manchester United star Philip Mulryne ordained as a priest for the Dominican Order (Order of Preachers)
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He is perhaps better to known to Norwich City supporters as someone who formed a key part of the Canaries’ midfield for more than 100 matches after joining from Manchester United.
But now former NCFC player Philip Mulryne has reached the heights of a very different career.
In a celebration of Mass in St Saviour’s Church, Dominican Street, Dublin, Fr Mulryne was was ordained as a priest for the Dominican Order (Order of Preachers) by His Grace Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia OP.
Archbishop Augustine Di Noia is assistant secretary at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and travelled from Rome for the special ceremony on Saturday, July 8.
Fr Mulryne was born in Belfast. Whilst playing for his parish soccer team, St Oliver Plunkett, he was spotted by a scout for Manchester United.
He impressed when he went for a trial with the club aged 14 and signed a schoolboy contract for two years.
He joined manager Alex Ferguson’s side in 1994 as a full-time professional on a four-year contract after finishing secondary school.
He made his debut in 1997 against Ipswich Town and but alongside the likes of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Eric Cantona was unable to secure a regular place in the side.
He was transferred to the Canaries in 1999.
Over the next six years he scored 18 goals for the Carrow Road side while also earning 27 caps for Northern Ireland, scoring three goals since his debut for the national side in 1997.
In the 2001–02 season, he was a member of the Norwich team that reached the final of the Division One play-offs against Birmingham City in Cardiff. However the Canaries lost on penalties.
After short spells at Cardiff City, Leyton Orient and non-keague King’s Lynn, he retired officially from football in 2009 aged 31 and entered the Diocesan Seminary of Saint Malachy’s Belfast.
He spent two years studying philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast and at the Maryvale Institute.
He then went to the Pontifical Irish College, Rome, to study theology for one year at the Gregorian University before discerning a call to religious life.
He entered the Dominican Novitiate House in Cork in 2012.
A spokesman for Irish Province of the Dominican Order said: “We rejoice with Fr Philip and his family on this beautiful day.
“Please keep Fr Philip OP in your prayers as he starts the next step of his life as a Dominican in his priestly vocation.”