Felix Healy, pictured in Derry City colours, shortly after winning the Treble with Derry City in 1988–89.
|Full name||Patrick Joseph Healy|
|Date of birth||27 September 1955|
|Place of birth||Derry, Northern Ireland|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|1982–1986||Irish League representative team||3||(1)|
|1989||League of Ireland XI||1||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Felix Healy (born 27 September 1955 as Patrick Joseph Healy) is a former Northern Ireland international footballer who played for Coleraine and then became a football manager. He has also worked as a media pundit and is currently part of the management team at First Division club Finn Harps, taking on the role of Director of football alongside manager Peter Hutton.
Starting his career at Sligo Rovers, he signed with Distillery in 1976. In 1978 he transferred to Finn Harps, before moving to England to play for Port Vale later that year. He returned to his homeland two years later to play for Coleraine. After seven years with the club he moved on to Derry City. In 1993 he returned to Coleraine as player-manager, before leaving his post and ending his playing career in 1994. He then four years in charge at Derry City. In 1982 he won four caps for Northern Ireland.
Healy was an accomplished midfielder or striker who possessed an impressive passing ability. After emerging in the Sligo Rovers first-team as a teenager, displaying a coolness on the ball unmatched by most of his peers, he transferred to Distillery in 1976. The club were suffering and without a ground and Healy did not even spend a full season with the club as results continually went against them. In March 1977 he was back in the League of Ireland with Finn Harps.
He matured as a player with Harps, his impressive performances helped to bring home runners-up medals in the League of Ireland and Tyler All-Ireland Cup. In October 1978, English club Port Vale paid £8,000 for his services. He played two seasons of Fourth Division football before returning across the Irish Sea, signing with Coleraine in July 1980. His form with the "Bannsiders" during the 1981–82 campaign brought the club to the verge of an Irish League and Cup double, before they lost out to Linfield on both fronts. The disappointment was no doubt eased by an Ulster Footballer of the Year award, and a call-up to the Northern Ireland squad. His continued good form with Coleraine over the following seasons brought Healy an Ulster Cup winner's medal and another Irish Cup final appearance, though his successful penalty proved to be not enough to prevent Glentoran winning the 1986 final by a 2–1 scoreline.
In 1987, Healy moved to his hometown club, Derry City. Despite being in his 30s, he still had time to make himself a Derry legend, helping them to a clean-sweep of League Championship, FAI Cup (where he scored the only goal in the final) and League of Ireland Cup, (a domestic treble) in 1988–89; the club's first major honours since their days in the Irish League, over twenty years earlier. He also scored Derry's first ever goal in the Premier Division on 20 September 1987. He scored 38 goals in 162 total appearances for his home town club.
Healy made his international debut in an experimental line-up which drew with Scotland in the British Home Championship, and won his second cap the following month as Northern Ireland finished their World Cup preparations in the worst of fashions, with a 3–0 defeat by Wales. Healy did enough to impress Billy Bingham, who included him in the 1982 World Cup squad for Spain. He played once at the finals, coming on as substitute for Martin O'Neill in a 1–1 draw with Honduras. In doing so he became the first and so far only Irish League player to play in a World Cup Finals match. He won his fourth and final cap in the first post-World Cup game, Northern Ireland losing 2–0 in Austria.
He was a regular choice for the Irish League, and he won three caps – in a 3–3 draw with OFK Beograd (representing the Yugoslav League) in 1982, and twice against the League of Ireland, a 4–0 win (in which he scored) in 1984 and a 2–1 defeat in 1986.
In October 1993 Healy returned to Coleraine as player-manager, taking over from Willie McFaul and back to Derry as manager in December 1994. In a little under four seasons in charge at the Brandywell Stadium, Healy led Derry to League and FAI Cup successes, before resigning in 1998. Healy remained outside football until becoming a surprise appointment as Finn Harps boss. Lifting the club out of the doldrums, his first season at Finn Park saw the club promoted as champions of the First Division. However the club struggled to make an impact in the Premier League the following season and he was sacked in July 2005.
Media & musical career
Healy appeared as a football pundit on Setanta Sports and as Station Manager for Drive105.3FM, also acting as a sports reporter for local network, Channel 9. He once starred in a local production of Grease and sang numerous club-songs for Derry during his time there.
As a player
As a manager
- "Felix Healy". 28 December 2006. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
- Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 133. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.
- M. Brodie (ed.), Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 2009–2010, p. 102. Belfast:Ulster Tatler Publications
- zoominfo.com http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Felix-Healy/148810184
|url=missing title (help). Retrieved 4 February 2014.
|Finn Harps F.C. manager