Cliftonville skipper George McMullan to retire

George McMullan was honoured with a well-attended testimonial against a Celtic XI last month
George McMullan was honoured with a well-attended testimonial against a Celtic XI last month

Cliftonville captain George McMullan has announced his retirement from the game after playing for the north Belfast club for 15 years.

The 34-year-old skippered his side to their two Irish Premiership league title successes in 2013 and 2014.

He is the most decorated player in the club's history, with his medal haul also including five League Cup medals and four County Antrim Shield honours.

His career was recognised last month with a testimonial against a Celtic XI.

McMullan made his debut in a 2-0 win over Crusaders in December 2001 and boasts a record of 103 goals in 544 appearances for the Reds.

His injury-time penalty against Linfield in April 2013 ended the club's 15-year wait for a league title and three months later he captained the side in their Champions League tie with Celtic.

Final appearance in Europa League play-off

His final appearance for the Solitude outfit came in last week's dramatic Europa League play-off victory over Glentoran.

"George has informed the club that he will not be entering into discussions over a new contract and intends to watch the Reds from the stands in future," read a statement issued by the club.

"It goes without saying that, while I respect his decision, I'm saddened we will not see him represent Cliftonville again," said the club's chairman Gerard Lawlor.

"I'm so grateful for everything he has helped us achieve and we will never forget the contribution he has made to this football club.

"He has already told me that he and his kids will be getting season tickets and sitting among the 'Red Army' in the stands from here onwards.

Manager Gerard Lyttle added: "He's been an absolute inspiration to everyone, reflected in the trophies he has collected and all the stand-out performances he's delivered over the years."

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