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Linfield bid a sad farewell to veteran goalkeeper Roy Carroll

It was confirmed by Linfield yesterday that Roy Carroll is to leave the club as his contract isn’t going to be renewed.

Carroll’s season was cut short when he suffered a cruciate ligament injury back in January. The 41 year old has been with the club since 2016 and in that time Linfield have won two Premiership titles, one Irish Cup and one League Cup at Windsor Park. Carroll’s vast experience has been pivotal to Linfield’s success.

Carroll’s professional career started at Hull back in 1995 when he was just eighteen and this led to call up to the U21 squad back in 1998. He has played in various leagues, his most notable with Man United in Premiership from 2001- 2005. To date he has made 527 club appearances in total since he turned professional. He also represented Northern Ireland a total of 56 times and U21 and senior level.

He is a much loved character and will be sorely missed at Linfield. The club did offer pre-season training to Carroll but he chose to reject the offer in order to search for first team football elsewhere. There is life in the old dog yet, Carroll will not be deterred which shows the tenacity that has seen him have such a long and varied career in football.

Linfield manager David Healy paid tribute to Roy on the Linfield FC website saying “Personally, I want to thank Roy for his excellent service, leadership, hard work and dedication over the past 3 years at Linfield. He will and should be remembered as one of the greatest goalkeepers in Irish league and Northern Ireland history. 

At Linfield, he proved to be not only hugely popular but also an even more importantly – highly successful – in his time with us.

At Roy’s age and in view of the seriousness of his injury, we were always going to need other goalkeepers to step up and thankfully, that’s how things turned out at the tail end of the season. Gareth finished the season as strongly as he did, Conor got a few games for experience towards the end and Alex Moore had an encouraging loan spell at Dungannon and all this was a huge plus for us, going forward. 

It’s never easy when big characters and players of the quality Roy possess have to, or choose to leave, but for the long term, myself as the manager, has to make decisions for the future of the football club.

I’ve had a great relationship with Roy for over 20 years and I have huge respect for him as a player and a person. I will be forever thankful that when I started off as the manager here, I was able to call upon the vast experience of Roy Carroll to marshall our defence. On and off the pitch, he was a huge part of the success the club has had in recent seasons. 

He leaves with our gratitude, our very best wishes for all he does in the future and in particular, for a full recovery from the unfortunate injury he sustained in January. He leaves us all with many great memories.”

We wish Roy the very best in the future!        

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