Linfield player Callum Brown set to become first in club's history to line out for a GAA All-Ireland final at Croke Park

Callum Brown (fourth from left) celebrates Derry's win over Sligo in the All-Ireland Minor quarter-final in Ballybofey with fellow members of the Limavady Wolfhounds GAA club
John Monaghan

A LINFIELD striker is expected to become the first serving player in the club's history to take to the field for an All-Ireland GAA final in Croke Park when Callum Brown lines out for Derry minors on Sunday.

Callum, who plays GAA for the Limavady Wolfhounds club, will be aiming to net scores of a different kind when he takes to the pitch for the All-Ireland final showpiece against Kerry.

A pupil at St Mary's High School in Limavady, Callum is on the books at Linfield and has featured as a striker for the club's U17 side this season.

While previous Linfield players have played at Croke Park - Ryan Henderson lined out for Armagh before joining Linfield in 2012 - it is believed to be the first occasion that a current player on the club's roster will take to the field at the GAA's headquarters, and the first to feature in an All-Ireland final.

It is a scenario that would have been unthinkable a few decades ago.

Up until 1971, the GAA's Rule 27 banned its members from playing or attending "foreign sports".

Although Linfield have had many Catholic players in recent years, there were allegations - strongly denied by the club - that there was historically an unwritten rule against signing Catholics.

If Derry win the game, Callum and teammate Oran Hartin will also make history by becoming the first members of the Limavady Wolfhounds club to collect All-Ireland championship medals.

A Linfield spokesman said: "We wish him well and every success on the big occasion."

Callum Brown, centre, is expected to become the first serving Linfield player to take to the field at Croke Park on Sunday, when Derry minors take on Kerry in the All-Ireland final. Picture by Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

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