Congratulations to Chris Curran, who made his 300th appearance for Cliftonville in this evening’s 2-1 defeat of Ballymena United.
The 30-year-old, who joined the Club from Ballinamallard United in June 2013, made his Reds debut in the first leg of Champions League second qualifying round clash with Celtic the following month and scored the first of 34 goals to date in a League Cup victory over Dundela in October of the same year.
After helping Cliftonville successfully defend their grip on that particular competition, Curran duly set about playing his part in the retention of the Danske Bank Premiership title, with his opening goal in a 2-0 victory over Glentoran on April 12, 2014 key to maintaining vital late-season momentum.
With his first four strikes in Cliftonville colours all coming at Solitude, the Swanlinbar man could not have picked a more appropriate time to open his account away from home; breaking the deadlock in memorable fashion as the Reds kept hold of the Gibson Cup courtesy of a 2-0 win against Portadown at Shamrock Park.
A year on from being part of the Ballinamallard side that applauded the Champions onto the pitch on trophy presentation day, Curran would bag a hat-trick in a 3-2 defeat of Crusaders that preceded him and his Reds team-mates celebrating with that very same silverware.
From that afternoon onward, all of the former Portadown and Manchester United youngster’s goals would come in single strikes until this season’s 7-2 triumph over Dundela in the County Antrim Shield, when the skipper clocked up his first double at the Club.
In between times, Curran – who has operated in a number of positions under four Managers at Solitude – enjoyed two further League Cup successes as well as contributing to a brace of Shield wins amid a string of inspirational performances that continue to endear him to the Red Army.
Everyone at Cliftonville toasts Chris reaching the significant milestone of 300 appearances and looks forward to seeing him continue to flourish in a Red shirt.
Chris Curran at Cliftonville
Debut: July 17, 2013 (v Celtic)
First Goal: October 8, 2013 (v Dundela)
First double: October 13, 2020 (v Dundela)
First hat-trick: April 26, 2014 (v Crusaders)
4: Ballymena United, Crusaders, Dungannon Swifts
3: Ballinamallard United, Dundela, Glentoran
2: Glenavon, Portadown
1: Ards, Banbridge Town, Carrick Rangers, Immaculata, Institute, Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Moyola Park, Warrenpoint Town