Paddy McCourt and Guy Bates agree one-year deals with Glenavon

Paddy McCourt
Paddy McCourt has made 18 appearances for Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland winger Paddy McCourt and striker Guy Bates have agreed one-year contracts with Glenavon.

The capture of McCourt, 32, is a major coup for Lurgan Blues manager Gary Hamilton, who unveiled the duo at Mourneview Park on Tuesday night.

McCourt left Luton Town to return home in May after his wife Laura was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Bates re-joins the club from Linfield, having made 83 appearances and scored 34 goals in his last spell at Glenavon.

The 30-year-old initially signed for the club at the start of the 2012-13 season, before moving to Australia to take up a job in the family business after the start of the 2014-15 campaign.

On his return to Northern Ireland, he opted to sign for Linfield.

Fans' favourite McCourt

Renowned as a skilful crowd-pleaser, McCourt started his professional career with English Football League side Rochdale in 2001, before moving to League of Ireland side Shamrock Rovers in 2005.

Later that year he moved to his home-town club, Derry City, then moved to Glasgow Celtic where he spent five seasons.

He subsequently had spells at Barnsley, Brighton and a loan spell at Notts County before signing a two year deal at Luton Town.

It had earlier emerged that Derry City boss Kenny Shiels had opted not to sign McCourt, citing the progress of the youngsters in his squad as the reason.

Laura underwent a successful operation last month and doctors are optimistic that she will make a full recovery.

Hamilton's side begin their league campaign with a home fixture against Carrick Rangers on 6 August.

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