Patrick McCourt joined Norwich on trial for the week commencing
8th September 2003 so that the Canaries could see how he performs
at a higher standard.
a little look at him and assess where we go from there,"
said manager Nigel Worthington who
acted on a recommendation from chief scout Alan
scout has been watching him for a while and managed to persuade
Rochdale to let him out for a week to train with us. We're very
grateful to them for that and now we'll just have to see how it
goes." McCourt returned, as scheduled, to Rochdale at the
end of the week with the Canaries agreeing to keep an eye on the
At the time of the trial, the left-sided midfielder had made
66 appearances for Rochdale, 35 of which had been from the substitute's
bench. Originally signed from Irish sides Foyle Harps on a YTS
contract, his potential quickly persuaded the Spotland club to
sign him on a 3 and a half year contract in December 2001, shortly
after making his debut at Kidderminster. His first season ended
with 23 appearances and 4 goals. The second year saw him plagued
by injuries and a loss of form - enabling Paul Simpson to seize
his place in the starting XI. 26 appearances were made but mainly
from the bench.
Rochdale fans describe him as unbelievably brilliant, or frustratingly
under-acheiving. 'Paddy' as he is known on the terraces is arguably
the most naturally talented footballer seen at Spotland in years.
He has the ability to leave his opponents for dead time-after-time,
and if he can learn to deliver the killer ball, it is only a matter
of time before he moves on. Blackburn were said to be watching
his progress during 2002/03. He has impressed enough to earn a
full international cap, coming on as substitute during Northern
Ireland's 5-0 friendly defeat at the hands of Spain.
Transfer-listed by Rochdale in September 2004, McCourt was linked
with a move to Macclesfield. In December 2004, he joined Scottish
side Motherwell on trial. In March 2005, he joined Irish side
Shamrock Rovers. Topping the Irish golascoring charts by May 2005,
Bristol City were alleged to have made an offer - one that financially
stricken Shamrock Rovers could not resist. In the summer, he transferred
to hometown club Derry City
McCourt was later a target for Peter Grant
in October 2007 with a fee said to be agreed for £75000
but this transfer collapsed after Grant's sacking.
In June 2008, West Brom had a bid of £150,000 accepted
for McCourt by Derry but McCourt was uncertain about the move
as he would be a reserve team player. While we are trying
to get the first team right for the Premier League, we are also
looking to bring in players to strengthen the underbelly of the
club, boss Tony Mowbray told the Baggies' official website.
"It's a process we started last season and Pat was one
of a few players we are looking to bring in - but on our terms.
These are players who, while we're trying to develop their talent,
can step into the first team at any given time. However, during
the club's discussions with Pat, it became clear he has other
options where he feels he may have a greater opportunity to play
first team football and we wish him all the best.
Norwich then had a similar bid agreed and personal terms were
believed to be bettr than those offered by The Baggies. But then
Scottish giants Celtic made a move and McCourt, said to be a life-long
Celtic fan, signed a three year deal with Celtic on 18th June
2008. He made his debut on 25th October 2008 in the 4-2 win over
After impressing for Northern Ireland and Celtic, Paddy eas linked
in August 2011 with a shock swoop by Liverpool