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Patrick McCourt
Personal information
Full name Patrick McCourt
Date of birth 16 December 1983 (1983-12-16) (age 26)
Place of birth Derry, Northern Ireland
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11+12 in)
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current club Celtic
Number 20
Youth career
1998–2000 Foyle Harps
2000–2001 Rochdale
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2005 Rochdale 79 (8)
2005 Shamrock Rovers 17 (7)
2005–2008 Derry City 60 (5)
2008– Celtic 13 (2)
National team
2002–2004 Northern Ireland U21 9 (1)
2002– Northern Ireland 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:34, 2 March 2010 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14 November 2009 20:20pm

Patrick J. McCourt, born 16 December 1983 in Derry, is a footballer, who plays as a winger for Scottish Premier League club Celtic and internationally for Northern Ireland. Despite only making a handful of appearances since he joined Celtic from Derry City in June 2008, McCourt is a cult hero at Celtic Park, due to his Catholic roots and his exceptional natural footballing talent.





McCourt, educated at Steelstown Primary School in Derry, began his career with an early move from Foyle Harps to Rochdale on a youth team contract. His potential quickly persuaded the Spotland club to sign him on a 3 and a half year contract in December 2001, shortly after making his debut against Kidderminster Harriers. His first season ended with 23 appearances and 4 goals. This was complemented by the 9 caps he received at Under 21 level for Northern Ireland. In June 2002, the then Northern Ireland manager Sammy McIlroy handed him his senior international debut against Spain at Windsor Park[1]. This came at the peak of McCourt's early career[2], and he attracted the attention of several Premier League clubs during 2002-03, including Blackburn Rovers. A formal bid of £1.5m was made by Manchester City, however, this was rejected by Rochdale and the deal fell through.

In the 2003-04 season, McCourt managed just a handful of starts for the club and had two spells away on trial with English First Division sides Norwich City[3] and Crewe Alexandra, though neither club followed up their initial interest in him. Despite scoring goals during his spell at Spotland Stadium, a combination of injuries and loss of form hastened his departure from Rochdale in February 2005.

Shamrock Rovers

After Rochdale manager Steve Parkin had informed him that he was to be released, McCourt headed for another trial, this time with Scottish Premier League outfit Motherwell. Again a move failed to materialise after a two-week stay at Fir Park, but he was signed by Roddy Collins, manager of League of Ireland full-timers, Shamrock Rovers.

McCourt scored three goals in his first six appearances for the Dublin club and topped the goalscoring table by May 2005. As the club ran into financial difficulty, mainly due to the costs surrounding the building of Tallaght Stadium, the club were forced to place all their players on the transfer list for free, however, this excluded McCourt. However, after 7 goals in 17 appearances (3 of which were goal of the season contenders [4]) and following interest from Bristol City and Queen's Park Rangers, Shamrock Rovers, in need of funds, decided to let McCourt go. The player was signed by his home-town club, Derry City, for a fee thought to be around £60,000. He was Rovers top goalscorer that season and won the Professional Footballers Association of Ireland award of 'Young Player of the Year'.[5]

Derry City

McCourt helped Derry City to the runners-up position in both the 2005 and 2006 League of Ireland seasons. In the 2006 season he played in their UEFA Cup run in wins over IFK Gothenburg and Gretna and helped Derry to the FAI Cup and League of Ireland Cup.

McCourt scored 6 goals in 31 appearances for City in the 2007 season and won a League of Ireland Cup medal. His skill had reportedly interested West Bromwich Albion, and Derry City announced in June 2008 that they had reached agreement with the newly-promoted Premier League side.[6]


In June 2008 Derry City agreed a fee with Celtic. West Brom had also agreed terms with both player and club, but the lure of joining the club he supported as a boy persuaded McCourt to move to Glasgow[7]. On 19 June 2008 Patrick signed for the club for an undisclosed fee after agreeing a three year contract.[8] He made his competitive debut for Celtic on 25 October 2008 in the 4-2 win over Hibernian. He has featured prominently for the Celtic reserve team, particularly in the game on 28 April 2009 against Rangers which clinched the Reserve League Title for the Hoops for the eighth season in succession, a career high point for him.[9] He also appeared at the inaugural Wembley Cup in which he excelled for Celtic. He featured in another of Celtic's pre- season friendly matches against Manchester City on 8 August 2009 at Eastlands.

On 23 September 2009, McCourt opened his goalscoring account for Celtic with a goal in a League Cup match at Falkirk. He then scored his first goal in the SPL in his first league start, against St Mirren on 26 September;[10] a goal that saw him ghost past 6 defenders before beating the goalkeeper in addition. On 24th January 2010, McCourt bagged his second league goal for Celtic after a mazy run and supreme finish into the top right hand corner, from just inside the penalty box[11].

International career

McCourt received nine caps for Northern Ireland under-21 team, and two caps for the senior squad. On 8 July 2008 Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington said that McCourt was likely to be recalled to the national squad after he had signed for Celtic.

He received his first cap against Spain, and his second cap came after he came on as a substitute against San Marino in a qualifying match for the 2010 World Cup.

Personal life

His older brother Harry also played for and won the FAI Cup with Derry City and was joint top scorer in the Irish League in 1991/92. [12] He is also a current Derry City director. [13]

Career statistics

(correct as of 27 February 2010)
Club Season League Cup[14] Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Rochdale 2001-02 23 4 3 0 - - 26 4
2002-03 26 2 3 0 - - 29 2
2003-04 24 2 4 0 - - 28 2
2004-05 6 0 2 0 - - 8 0
Total 79 8 12 0 - - 91 8
Shamrock Rovers 2005 17 7 - - - - 17 7
Total 17 7 - - - - 17 7
Derry City 2005 15 1 4 0 - - 19 1
2006 21 2 6 1 3 0 30 3
2007 17 2 11 4 2 0 30 6
2008 8 0 1 0 - - 9 0
Total 61 5 22 5 5 0 88 10
Celtic 2008-09 4 0 1 0 0 0 5 0
2009-10 9 2 2 1 3 0 14 3
Total 13 2 3 1 3 0 19 3
Career Totals 170 22 37 6 8 0 214 28


Derry City - 2006
Derry City - 2006, 2007


External links


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