They don’t call Paddy McCourt the Derry Pelé for no reason.
McCourt, who made 66 appearances for Celtic, helped Airtricity League First Division side Finn Harps secure promotion to the Premier League in his final season in football, scoring the only goal in the first-leg of their promotion/relegation victory over Limerick.
The 34-year-old announced that he would be retiring from the game at the beginning of June to take up a coaching role at Derry City.
“It looks like there will be plenty of work ahead so I have notified Finn Harps that I will be retiring when my current contract is up to concentrate fully on this role,” McCourt said of his new role, overseeing Derry’s U13, U15, U17 and U19 teams.
“I’m really happy to be coming back to Derry City and in particular to have the opportunity to oversee this new development programme” he said.
McCourt who is affectionately nicknamed “The Derry Pelé” had a knack for scoring brilliant individual goals and was often lauded for his footwork and dribbling skills when he got on the ball.
The Derry native scored nine goals during his time at Celtic with this Messi-esque finish against St Mirren in 2009, being the pick of the bunch.
McCourt won 18 caps for Northern Ireland at international level and scored two goals, one of which was this trademark run and ice cold chip, against the Faroe Islands in 2011.
Or how about this goal in the Championship for Barnsley, after skinning most of Middlesbrough’s starting eleven?
Even at the age of 35 back in the League of Ireland, McCourt still managed to live up to his nickname, scoring this belter last season against Sligo Rovers.
A scorer of truly great goals and one of the most skilful players to ever play in the League of Ireland, there’s no doubt that the game will certainly miss “The Derry Pelé”.