Norwich City Top 100 appearances: Phil Mulryne (82)
- Credit: Graham Lynch
Phil Mulryne (82)
178 appearances/20 goals
Tradition had it many years ago that footballers, upon retirement, went into the licensed trade: famous pub landlords were ten a penny.
But times have changed. In the case of Philip Patrick Stephen Mulryne, they could hardly have changed more dramatically.
Mulryne is now Father Mulryne – a far cry from his days at Carrow Road when he liked his nights out as much as he liked his football.
The Northern Irishman began his career at Manchester United in the mid-90s. He was in the FA Youth Cup winning team of 1995 and made his senior debut in October 1997 against Ipswich in the Coca Cola Cup – United lost 2-0.
He was by then a full Northern Ireland international, but with various Fergie's Fledgelings in his way, Sir Alex allowed him to leave for Norwich in March 1999 for £500,00 after just one league appearance
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Mulryne suffered a broken leg in a tackle with Blackburn's Christian Dailly which ruled him out of most of the 1999–2000 season.
He was in the team that lost the First Division play-off final to Birmingham at the Millennium Stadium, missing one of the spot kicks in the penalty shoot-out.
However, he and City did make it into the top flight in 2004 as champions but after one season they were relegated, and Mulryne was on his way.
He went on to play for Cardiff City and Leyton Orient and was signed by King's Lynn on a non-contract basis.
Mulryne was involved in controversy in August 2005 when on international duty, Northern Ireland boss Lawrie Sanchez sent him home for a breach of discipline after he and Jeff Whitely broke a curfew. He won 27 caps for his country.
In 2009, at the age of 31, Mulryne began formation for the Roman Catholic priesthood. He studied at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome and last September he made his profession to become a Dominican friar at St Saviour's Priory in Dublin. In October he was ordained a deacon by Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin.
At about the same time there were also reports that Mulryne – who was said to have once dated glamour model Nicola Chapman, had been declared bankrupt. He is set to become a fully ordained priest this summer.