Former footballer Philip Mulryne made deacon in step to priesthood
A FORMER professional footballer from west Belfast has taken the next step on his spiritual journey after being ordained a deacon.
A far cry from his football glory days with Manchester United and Norwich City, Brother Philip Mulryne - a member of the Dominican Order - was ordained by the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin on Saturday.
Family and friends of the former midfielder, who also won 27 caps for Northern Ireland, joined the 38 year-old for the service in St Saviour's Priory in Dublin.
He had made his 'solemn profession' to the Dominican Order during a ceremony in Dublin last month before his Diaconate ordination on Saturday.
Bro Philip is expected to be ordained to the priesthood sometime next year.
The former footballer began his career as a youth team player at Manchester United in 1994 and was in the FA Youth Cup winning team the following year.
But he played only a handful of first-team games at Old Trafford with such competition in the team as David Beckham and Paul Scholes before joining Norwich City for £500,000 in 1999.
He enjoyed spells at Cardiff City, Ipswich, Brighton, Legia Warsaw, Barnsley and Leyton Orient followed and in 2008, with 27 international appearances to his name, called time on his playing career.
Following his retirement from football, he became involved in various charity activities and it is believed that Bishop of Down and Connor, Noel Treanor invited him to join the priesthood on foot of his volunteer work.
Last month it was reported that he had been declared bankrupt at Belfast High Court.
Legal papers reveal he sought the order himself, and the bankruptcy was described as a “self adjudication”.