From the pitch to the pulpit: Former Beckham team-mate ordained as a priest

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The ex-Northern Ireland international has eschewed football's normal post-retirement jobs and entered the priesthood

Former Manchester United player Philip Mulryne has shunned the normal post-football career route of coaching or punditry by becoming a priest in the Republic of Ireland

Mulryne, who partnered David Beckham in United's youth set-up and also featured for Norwich City and Cardiff City, hung up his boots in 2008 at the age of 30. 

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Almost immediately after retirement he began studying for ordination into the Roman Catholic priesthood, a process that culminated on Saturday with a formal ceremony in Dublin's St. Saviour's Church. 

As a priest the new Father Mulryne will take a vow of poverty, and will join the chaplaincy team in County Kildare's Newbridge College. 

"After mature deliberation, dear Brother Philip, you have shown your readiness to embrace the service to which you have been called?" Archbishop Augustine Di Nola, presiding the ceremony, asked Mulryne as reported by the Irish Mirror.

“Whatever gain you had, you have counted as loss.

“In a real sense, your experience as an athlete has helped to prepare you for this moment: you have known the meaning of working hard to attain a goal, and now the goal is Christ.”

Mulryne represented United five times at senior level, although his chances were curtailed by the emergence of the famous 'Class of 92' that featured the likes of Beckham, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes. 

He was nevertheless a solid servant for Norwich and for Northern Ireland, for whom he was capped on 27 occasions, scoring five goals.

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