Derry City striker Mark Farren has said that it is 'pretty unreal' to have broken the Candystripes' goalscoring record after netting a hat-trick in Friday's 7-1 FAI Cup quarter-final victory over Mervue United.
The previous record was held by Liam Coyle, who scored 112 goals for the club during the course of 12 seasons before retiring in 2003, and Farren admitted that Coyle was an idol to him.
“When I started here, Liam Coyle was the unbelievable player that I looked up to," he told the Derry Journal. "I also played as a full back until I was 21 or 22 so to be the club’s top goalscorer now is pretty unreal.”
When asked about the striker's achievement, the former record holder Liam Coyle was effusive in his praise, noting that Farren had played with 'honour and loyalty' throughout his career.
"I am delighted for Mark Farren because he has been a real servant for Derry City throughout the years," Coyle said. "And it’s nice that someone who has played with such honour and loyalty is now the club’s top scorer.”
The 30-year-old forward began his career with Derry City in 2003 after signing from Monaghan United he and revealed that breaking the record was 'a weight off his shoulders'.
Farren was forced to retired prematurely in 2009 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, but after undergoing surgery, the former Monaghan United striker was given the green light to continue with his playing career.
"It’s a bit strange because obviously there was a few years I missed through illness so in that regard it’s quite an achievement for me," added Farren.
However, despite breaking the club's goalscoring record, the striker will not be a Derry City player for much longer, having agreed a move to Irish League side Glenavon.