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A Ronan start

Ronan Hale’s strike against Coleraine on Saturday saw him become the first player in 62 years to reach 20 goals in his debut season with Cliftonville.

The last person to achieve the feat was Jack McDowell, who netted 22 times during the 1960/61 campaign, and indeed only two other players have ever done so for the Reds.

Mr W Fulton also hit 22 during his maiden – and only – year at Solitude in 1946/47, while the Club’s second-top scorer of all time, Kevin McGarry, introduced himself with 21 goals in 1948/49.

Hale, who became just the second ever player to mark their Cliftonville debut with a European goal when he was on target against DAC in the Europa Conference League back in July, therefore needs to net just three more times this season to set a Club record for the most goals ever scored by a player in their first year with the Reds.

Players to have scored 20 goals in their first season with Cliftonville
W Fulton: 22 (1946/47)
Kevin McGarry: 21 (1948/49)
Jack McDowell: 22 (1960/61)
Ronan Hale: 20 (2022/23)

The Club’s Heritage Development Officer, Paul Treanor, meanwhile, notes that the first ever player to break through the 20 goal barrier in a season was James Pyper in 1897/98, and it will come as no surprise that out, of the 21 players to have done so through history, Joe Gormley leads the way having struck 20+ times in no fewer than seven different campaigns – so far.