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Ex-Northern Ireland and Man United player Philip Mulryne one step closer to being ordained a priest

The 38-year-old was ordained as a deacon this weekend.

ONCE FOOTBALLERS HANG up their boots, they often admit a struggle to fill a void the game has left in their life.

The adrenaline of match days, the camaraderie with their team-mates and the day-to-day routine of being a professional athlete all disappear overnight.

Many turn to coaching, media work or business interests, but not former Northern Ireland international Philip Mulryne, who has turned his back on that lifestyle to become a Roman Catholic priest.

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This weekend, Mulryne was ordained as a deacon by the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin. And the 38-year-old is expected to be ordained as a priest next year.

The Belfast native, who won 27 international caps, came through Manchester United’s youth system, but managed just one Premier League appearance for the Old Trafford club.

He then moved on to Norwich City for £500,00, where he spent the majority of his career, and played a key role in their promotion to the top flight in 2004.

Soccer - Worthington Cup - Third Round - Manchester United v Bury Mulryne struggled to break into a Manchester United midfield that contained Roy Keane, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs. Source: EMPICS Sport

Mulryne ended his career with spells at Cardiff City, Leyton Orient and King’s Lynn, before retiring in 2008.

After leaving the world of football, Mulryne became involved in various charity activities, and it is understood he was asked to consider becoming a priest based on his volunteer work.

Mulryne then embarked on a two-year philosophy degree in Rome before starting a four-year philosophy degree in Belfast on his way to becoming a Dominican priest.

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