Former Manchester United player ordained a priest

Belfast-born Philip Mulryne made his debut for Manchester United in 1995


A former Manchester United and Northern Ireland soccer international has been ordained a priest of the Catholic Church.

Belfast-born Philip Mulryne (39), a member of the Dominican congregation, made his debut for Manchester United in 1995 before moving to Norwich City in 1999.

He played only a handful of first-team games with Manchester United when he was competing with David Beckham and Paul Scholes for a start, before joining Norwich City for £500,000 in 1999.

He also played for Cardiff City, Leyton Orient and Kings Lynn, and won 27 caps with Northern Ireland before retiring from football in 2008.

Following his retirement from football, he became involved in various charity activities.

The Bishop of Down and Connor, Noel Treanor, invited him to join the priesthood on foot of his volunteer work. In 2009, he began studying for the priesthood.

Family and friends were in attendance at Saturday’s event in Dublin’s Saint Saviour’s church.

He was ordained a priest for the Dominican Order by His Grace Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia OP.

Archbishop Di Noia is Assistant Secretary at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and he travelled from Rome for the ceremony.

In his homily, the Archbishop told the congregation: “You did not choose me, but I chose you.

“These words express our faith, dear brothers and sisters: that this friar – our brother, and your beloved son and friend – has been chosen by Jesus Christ, the great high priest, to carry out publicly in His name, and on behalf of the human race, a priestly office in the Church. No one takes this upon himself but only when called by God,” he said.

Last month Ireland’s youngest priest, 25-year-old Fr David Vard, was ordained in his hometown of Newbridge by Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin.