Cliftonville Football Club are delighted to announce the return of Rory Donnelly.
The striker, who was a huge favourite at Solitude during his previous spell at the Club, put pen to paper on a contract while his new team mates – including double goalscoring brother Jay – were overcoming Banbridge Town in this evening’s League Cup Second Round clash.
The 25-year-old made his debut in a 2-0 defeat to Linfield seven years ago next week and bagged the first of 28 goals in a League Cup victory over Larne in September 2010, while a treble the 6-2 County Antrim Shield success over Linfield in October 2011 proved the first of three hat-tricks in little more than a month with Ballymena United and Dungannon Swifts suffering a similar fate.
The Blues were also on the receiving end of scintillating Donnelly strikes that earned the teenager successive Goal of the Month awards for October and November of 2011 ahead of his move to Swansea City during the January 2012 Transfer Window after 70 appearances for the Reds.
A loan spell at Tranmere Rovers and subsequent switch to Gillingham followed and, though a host of Clubs were interested in securing his services this summer, supporters at tonight’s match were the first to hear of his return to Cliftonville.
“This is my club, I had great times here before, I’ve always got on well with the fans and I only live up the street,” he explained after signing a deal under the watchful eye of Chairman Gerard Lawlor.
“I’m delighted to be back and I can’t wait to get started. It’ll be great to play alongside Jay and to team up with Joe again, plus we’ve Dingo (Daniel Hughes) up there as well. We’ll maybe we’ll have to find a formation that gets us all on the pitch at the same time, but so long as whoever’s picked is putting the ball in the net, that’s all that matters.”