Chris Curran relief as decision helps cement his place in Cliftonville's history

A picture of Cliftonville’s Chris Curran celebrating with the Irish Cup
Cliftonville’s Chris Curran celebrates with the Irish Cup -Credit:INPHO/Stephen Hamilton

Chris Curran spoke of his relief at extending his stay at Solitude for another season as he wrote himself into Cliftonville's history books.

The club captain had clocked up a decade at Solitude last summer when Jim Magilton took over the reins. The 33-year-old had to weigh up whether it was the right time to bow out.

Thankfully after discussions with the new boss Curran decided to give it another, and what a decision that turned out to be following the Reds' Irish Cup victory on Saturday.

Read next: Jim Magilton feared iconic Irish Cup moment would end up like Devon Loch

Read next: Irish Cup Final player ratings as Cliftonville fight back to claim historic win

"Leaving hasn't probably sunk in yet and might not for a while," said the Cavan native. "I think it hasn't been a snap decision...I was contemplating doing it this time last season.

"I'm just so happy that I hung in there for another year and that Jim invited me back. There were different conversations about potentially going in with the coaching staff and I'm sure that would have been special as well but to play there are no comparisons.

"I’m just grateful for the last 11 years. I think I’ll be known now as the captain who won the Irish Cup for Cliftonville.

"You couldn't ask for anything more. I was bowing out anyway regardless of the result but it made my career.

"To go into a club and win the league title in your first season and for there to be such a gap and to bow out like that - I couldn't have asked for anything more. It's such a special, special feeling."

Curran is set for a new adventure now but he hasn't ruled out a return to Solitude at some stage in the future. "I'd never close the door on this football club because it has felt like home to me for a long, long time," he said.

"For now, I'm just going to take a break and my partner and I have plans to go to America for a while if I can get a visa. I think a watching brief for a while might do me the world of good.”

Join Belfast Live’s new Irish League WhatsApp group. Click this link to receive the latest Irish League headlines and breaking news direct to your phone. We also treat our members to special offers, promotions and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our group, you can check out any time you like. If you’re curious, you can read our Privacy Notice