Tributes pour in as Northern Ireland star hangs up boots

David Healy

David Healy

Tributes poured in yesterday for Northern Ireland’s greatest international goalscorer David Healy after he announced his retirement from professional football.

The 34-year-old striker – who scored 36 goals in 95 international appearances – is hoping he can continue to contribute to the national side as a coach.

Last night, DUP MP Gregory Campbell tabled a motion in the House of Commons to celebrate the achievements of Healy’s career.

His party colleague, Michelle McIlveen MLA, said: “Every Northern Ireland fan will thank David for the great memories of his time representing our country.”

UUP MLA Tom Elliott described Healy as “a true Northern Ireland sporting legend”, adding: “Most important of all, he was an incredibly genuine person who always wanted to play for his country.”

Sinn Fein Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín praised Healy as “an inspirational figure” who “built a career which took him to the pinnacle of his sport”.

“He was able to compete with, and often beat, the best footballers in the world,” she said. “David Healy’s 36 international goals helped make football history.”

Meanwhile, NI Conservatives’ co-chair Trevor Ringland paid tribute to Healy as “one of our all-time sporting greats”. He added: “Healy always conducted himself well on the field of play – and cut a modest, self-effacing figure off it.”


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