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Players pay tribute to ‘class act’ Healy

Thursday, 20th April, 2017 1:00am

The former team-mates of Colin Healy have paid tribute to the 37 year old after he annouced his retirement from the game this week.

Healy made over 100 league appearances with City over the course of two spells with the club, while he also enjoyed part of his career overseas at Celtic, Coventry City, Sunderland, Livingston, Barnsley, Bradford City, Ipswich Town and Falkirk.

Taking to social media, City players praised the Ballincollig native after he announced his retirement.

Greg Bolger, who made his return to the pitch on Monday following a four-week absence through injury, said: “Unfortunately it was only a year I got to play alongside Colin Healy, happy retirement #whataplayer #classact #learnedsomuch #topman.”

Garry Buckley, who was among the goalscorers in the 3-0 win over Limerick in the EA Sports Cup on Monday, said: “Best player I played with by a country mile. Hardest man on the pitch and nicest man off it. Congratulations on a great career healers.”

The League’s top scorer this year, Sean Maguire, said: “Nicest man in football and what a player he was. Dreaded marking him in training everyday. Best of luck in your retirement!”

Karl Sheppard also praised Healy for his dedication in training saying: “Best trainer I’ve ever seen, the man had groins of steel! One of the best players I’ve played with, would make some manager one day #gent” while Steven Beattie said: “Absolute privilege to play and train along side this gentleman. Trained the way he played every day. Gave me invaluable advice.”

Healy made his final appearance for City in the FAI Cup Final win last November, bringing down the curtain on a 19-year professional career which began at Celtic in 1998. He also made 13 appearances for the Republic of Ireland from 2002-2003.

City boss John Caulfield had nothing but praise for the midfielder this week, saying: “Since myself and John Cotter came into the club, Colin was a huge player, both on and off the pitch. The fact that Colin had played at the highest level during his career shone through and the good habits and total professionalism he had were a huge help to us in driving the club forward. Colin was always on hand for the younger players, in training, in matches and so on, to give them advice and help bring them through.”

Caulfield cited Healy’s wondergoal, an overhead kick to give City a 1-0 win over St Pat’s in 2014, as one of many career highlights: “We all remember him for that phenomenal overhead kick in the last minute against St Pat’s, which will live long in the memory, but over the last three years that I have been here, he made a massive contribution to the club.

“He played a huge part in us returning to European football but, most importantly, winning the cup last year, which he played a huge part in. That was a fitting way for him to finish out his career, after the heights he reached as a player, to win a trophy with his local club.”

There has been much talk of Healy’s potential in management with Caulfield saying: “He was a pleasure to have around the club and players like that make a manager’s job easy. I speak to Colin regularly and, when the time is right for him, we would hope that he will return to the club in another capacity. I know I speak for everyone at the club when I wish Colin the very best of luck for the future.”

In his time at City, Healy won the FAI Cup on two occasions, 2007 and 2016, the Setanta Sports Cup in 2008 and the FAI President’s Cup in 2016. He was named as the FAI League Player of the Year in 2014.

Meanwhile, City are away to St Pat’s on Friday night and will be looking for their tenth win on the bounce after winning their first nine fixtures of this year’s League.

Kick-off at Richmond Park is at 7.45pm.

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