From Pitch To Priesthood : The Remarkable Journey Of Philip Mulryne



Retiring from professional football after a fuzzy spell with Manchester United, Norwich and Cardiff City, Philip Mulryne has, much to the shock of many, strayed from the well-worn way of post-retirement activity.

After 161 Premier League Games, the former Manchester United and Norwich midfielder Philip Mulryne Contrasts amongst Football and devoting his time for the heavenly father.

The 39-year-old, who once earned £600,000-a-year amid his playing days, took a pledge of destitution. That implies Mulryne is presently living a life that is long ways from his days of fast automobiles and pretty ladies.

Philip Mulryne made his Manchester United debut back in 1997

After a series of niggling injuries in 2009, Mulryne said he felt a “stirring feeling” following a year from Red Devils in which he came back to Belfast. Eight years on and Mulryne now carries out his specialty at Newbridge College, a school just shy of 30 miles from the Irish capital.

However, for the ardent fan of Mulryne who paid close attention to the pitch ceremonies of Northern Ireland midfielder in those days, it presumably doesn’t come as an unexpected that the former Red Devil who clutched his faith paying little heed to the advantages and pleasured of professional football, now spends quite a bit of his life on a Roman Catholic sacrificial altar.


In an interview with MARCA‘s Primera Plana, it turned out Mulryne had more to share about helping other people find faith in God.

The Differences

“The goal is different, in football, it is about a search for trophies, for a priest it’s about searching for God,”

“In many ways, my life as a priest is similar to my life as a footballer.

“For example, I live in a community with other men who pursue a similar sole goal.”

READ ALSO: From The Ghetto-Street Of Brazil To Vicarage Road: Remarkable Story Of Richarlison

Devotion and Journey to Priesthood

“I was always a believer, in my 13 years as a player I still prayed regularly,”

 “When I was made the offer to become a priest, I said yes.“I knew that God’s plan for my life was for my own good and for the good of others.”

Pleasure in Religious Duties

“I can’t deny that my life as a footballer gave me great pleasure,”

“However, these feelings were often fleeting and peripheral.

“My faith and life as a priest have given me greater satisfaction, it’s more of an emotional feeling.”

The Defining Moment

“At a time when I was working in a homeless center, helping alcoholics, this changed my life,” he stated.

“I recognized in these broken men a certain dignity; they showed me the selfishness that existed in me as a footballer.

“It let me realize that we must give ourselves to others in order to be truly human, that’s what these men taught me.”

     Mulryne entered the Dominican Novitiate House in Cork in 2012

Speaking to The Times, he said: “I didn’t like the trappings of being a footballer — the money, the nightclubs and the attention of women.

“While that was fine for a while, when I got to my late 20s I started to feel really dissatisfied.

“I loved the game, loved the training. The lifestyle was bringing me pleasure but nothing lasting.

“I was buying three or four cars a year because I was getting bored and always wanting more. It was the same with clothes and houses.

“I started asking myself, ‘Why am I doing this?’ And, basically, the answer was that nothing was ever enough. I was constantly restless, born out of the fact that I thought this way of life was meant to make me happy.”

 On 29 October 2016, Mulryne was ordained a deacon by Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin.

Mulryne was Manchester United youth product and made his debut under Sir Alex Ferguson in 1997, showed up for the Red Devils just once before moving to Carrow Road.

His short spell at Norwich was the best of his career, playing more than 160 matches for the club amid his six-year stint with The Canaries. Following his time in East Anglia, he went ahead to play for Cardiff and Leyton Orient before a spell at non-league side King’s Lynn.

He officially retired from professional football in 2009 and entered the Diocesan Seminary of Saint Malachy’s Belfast to start his journey to priesthood.

(Visited 56 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: