Former Sligo and Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper Richard Brush comes out of retirement to sign for Cliftonville

Fri, Jul 27 2018

Brush in action for Finn Harps in 2016. Credit: Steve Alfred (ETPhotos)

Cliftonville have announced the signing of the former Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper Richard Brush ahead of the new Premiership season.

The 33-year-old has been persuaded out of retirement to join the Reds after parting company with relegated Ballinamallard United over the summer.

Birmingham-born Brush will compete with established number one Brian Neeson at the Solitude club as they look to secure the league title for the first time in six years.

“I can’t wait to get the head down again and get started,” Brush told the club's official website.

“It’s a bit of a strange one for me to be signing for a club just before they play my old team, but I’m really happy to be here and being involved at Cliftonville.”

Manager Barry Gray added: “I’m delighted to get someone of Richard’s proven quality on board.

“I have said from the first day I came to this club, and have repeated it all summer, we will never sign players for the sake of it and will only look to bring people in who can improve our squad.

“Having someone of Richard’s ability and experience at Cliftonville is a great boost and I’m sure his arrival will help bring out the best in everyone else.”

Brush began his career in England with Coventry City and spent time with Shrewsbury Town and Nuneaton Borough before signing for Sligo for the first time in 2006.

After five years with Sligo, Brush signed for Shamrock Rovers in 2011 and made three appearances in the group stages of the Europa League that season.

He had two further spells with the Bit o' Red either side of a second stint with the Hoops before signing for Finn Harps for the 2016 season.

After helping Ollie Horgan's side to Premier Division survival in his only season in Ballybofey, Brush joined the Fermanagh-based Mallards in 2017.

He announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2017/18 season, which saw the Mallards relegated to the Championship, but was persuaded to reconsider by Gray.