Former Manchester United footballer is now a priest after giving up £500K a year lifestyle (PHOTOs)

Tuesday, January 23, 2024
 – A former Manchester United footballer became a Catholic priest after quitting the sport.

Northern Ireland midfielder Philip Mulryne, who earned 27 caps for his country in a career that included spells with Norwich and Cardiff City, was ordained as a deacon in the Catholic Church back in 2017.

Mulryne, who began his career at Old Trafford after progressing through the club's academy, made just one Premier League appearance for the club before moving to Norwich in 1999 for £500,000.

After becoming a fan favourite at Carrow Road, the Northern Irishman made over 150 league appearances for the Norfolk outfit before leaving for Cardiff City in 2005.

He featured for the Welsh side before spells at Leyton Orient and King's Lynn Town. He eventually retired in 2008.

While many ex-players go into coaching or become television pundits, Mulryne opted for a more spiritual existence.

At 31, he began formation for the Catholic priesthood after he started to fall out of love with football.

Mulryne, who earned over £500,000-a season in his best years, didn't enjoy where his career was going so he made a significant change.

Speaking on his transition into priesthood, Mulryne previously told Norwich's official website: "It's hard to pin down a particular moment. I would say it started in my last year at Norwich, not explicitly and I wasn't thinking about it at that time but I started to get dissatisfied with the whole lifestyle.

"We have a wonderful life as a footballer and I was very privileged, but I found with all the surrounding stuff that eventually there was a kind of emptiness with it. I was quite shocked - why am I not happy when I have everything that young men want? 

"It started me on a journey towards exploring my faith again, the faith that I had as a young man. I took a decision to come home for a year and it was really during that year that everything turned upside down.

"I volunteered at a homeless shelter for a while. I started going back to mass and I started praying again on a regular basis. I just found a real sense of fulfilment with it. Football was huge highs and lows and here was something that was giving me a steady sense of contentment."

Mulryne, 46, goes by the title Reverend Father Philip Mulryne after he was ordained a priest for the Dominican Order in 2017 and now currently oversees a congregation at St. Mary's Priory Church in Cork.

After quitting the game over a decade ago, Mulryne revealed he has no regrets about his decision.

He added: "My vocation to priesthood and religious life came later in the course of that year - I felt this strong desire for this way of life and I stayed with it for a few months and then got the courage up to explore it and I took the decision and it's now eight years later."

Post a Comment