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The Curr issue

A full 3557 days on from his debut, reflects on the facts and figures behind Chris Curran’s decade of service at Solitude.

The 32-year-old, who made his 400th appearance for Cliftonville in Tuesday’s Danske Bank Premiership clash with Larne, joined the Club from Ballinamallard United in June 2013 and made his Reds bow in the first leg of the Champions League second qualifying round tie with Celtic the following month, scoring the first of 35 goals to date in a League Cup victory over Dundela in October of the same year.

Chris Curran (extreme right) was part of the Ballinamallard side the day Cliftonville were crowned Champions in 2013

After helping Cliftonville successfully defend their grip on that particular competition, Curran duly set about playing his part in the retention of the Premiership title, with his opening goal in a 2-0 victory over Glentoran on April 12, 2014 key to maintaining vital late-season momentum.

All smiles as Reds players celebrate Curran’s first goal for the Club

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.

The much-missed Kenny Murdock looks on as Curran is mobbed after his goal teed up 2014 title glory

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.

Chris celebrates sealing his hat-trick on the day the Gibson Cup was presented in 2014

From that afternoon onward, all of the former Portadown and Manchester United youngster’s goals would come in single strikes until the 7-2 triumph over Dundela in the County Antrim Shield in October 2020, when the skipper clocked up his first – and, thus far, only – double at the Club.

The only brace of Chris’ Cliftonville career came against Dundela in 2020

Curran – who has operated in a number of positions under four Managers at Solitude – has enjoyed three 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.

Curran skippered the Reds to League Cup success last year

Everyone at Cliftonville toasts Chris – who is ninth in the Club’s all-time appearances list – reaching the significant milestone of 400 games and looks forward to seeing him continue to flourish in a Red shirt.

Chris Curran at Cliftonville
Appearances: 400
Debut: July 17, 2013 (v Celtic)
Honours: Danske Bank Premiership (2014), League Cup (2014, 2015, 2016, 2022), County Antrim Shield (2015, 2020)
Goals: 35
Assists: 60
First Goal: October 8, 2013 (v Dundela)
First double: October 13, 2020 (v Dundela)
First hat-trick: April 26, 2014 (v Crusaders)
Most recent goal: August 27, 2022 (v Dungannon Swifts)

Goal Breakdown
5: Dungannon Swifts
Ballymena United, Crusaders
Ballinamallard United, Dundela, Glentoran
2: Glenavon, Portadown
1: Ards, Banbridge Town, Carrick Rangers, Immaculata, Institute, Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Moyola Park, Warrenpoint Town

Top 10 Cliftonville appearances
610: Mickey Donnelly
George McMullan
523: Ronan Scannell
456: Chris Scannell
451: John Wilson
438: Joe Gormley
430: Walter Mills
429: Ernie McCleary
400: Chris Curran
396: Marty Tabb, Ryan Catney