Jesus signs up former Red Devil
Philip Mulryne, the former Manchester United player and Northern Ireland international, has been ordained a priest.
Father Mulryne, 39, was ordained yesterday by Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, OP in St Saviour's Church, Dominick Street, Dublin at a ceremony attended by family and friends.
Originally from Belfast, Father Mulryne will be assigned to join the chaplaincy team at Newbridge College, Co Kildare.
Philip Mulryne was spotted at 14 by a Manchester United scout while playing for his parish soccer team St Oliver Plunkett.
Impressing at his following trial for the club, he eventually joined the youth squad of the club before ultimately signing a four-year professional contract after finishing secondary school in 1994.
However, joining the team alongside David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Andy Cole he was unable to secure a regular place in Alex Ferguson's side.
After Manchester he went to Norwich City where he was reportedly earning up to €600,000 a year, playing 135 times for the club. There were also short spells at Cardiff City and Leyton Orient.
He played 27 times for Northern Ireland and scored three goals.
In 2005 he was suspended from the squad for a breach of discipline and missed two World Cup qualifying games. Mulryne also previously dated model Nicola Chapman.
After retiring from football in 2009, Fr Mulryne studied philosophy and theology before entering the Dominican novitiate house in Cork. He became a deacon last year.
Archbishop Di Noia, Assistant Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, came from Rome to deliver the homily: "After mature deliberation, dear Brother Philip, you have shown your readiness to embrace the service to which you have been called.
"Whatever gain you had, you have counted as loss. In a real sense, your experience as an athlete has helped to prepare you for this moment: you have known the meaning of working hard to attain a goal, and now the goal is Christ," he added.