Felix Healy

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Felix Healy
Personal information
Full name Patrick Joseph Healy[1]
Date of birth (1955-09-27) 27 September 1955 (age 61)
Place of birth Derry, Northern Ireland
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Midfielder / Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1974–1976 Sligo Rovers 24 (2)
1976–1977 Distillery
1978–1979 Finn Harps 4 (0)
1978–1980 Port Vale 41 (2)
1980–1987 Coleraine
1987–1991 Derry City 114 (23)
1991–1992 Coleraine 26 (1)
National team
1982 Northern Ireland 4 (0)
1982–1986 Irish League XI 3 (1)
1989 League of Ireland XI 1 (1)
Teams managed
1993–1994 Coleraine
1994–1998 Derry City
2004–2005 Finn Harps
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

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 settled into a quiet retirement, becoming a very popular local musician around Derry City and Inishowen

Club career[edit]

Healy began his career in the Sligo Rovers first-team as a teenager, before he transferred to Distillery in 1976.[2] 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.[2] In March 1977 he was back in the League of Ireland with Finn Harps.[2]

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.[2] In October 1978, English club Port Vale paid £8,000 for his services.[3] He played two seasons of Fourth Division football before returning across the Irish Sea, after being signed by Coleraine manager Victor Hunter in July 1980.[4] 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.[4] The disappointment was eased by an Ulster Footballer of the Year award, and a call-up to the Northern Ireland squad.[5] 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.[2]

During his time at Coleraine he played in eight European ties, scoring on two separate occasions in the UEFA Cup in September 1983 and September 1986 against Sparta Rotterdam and FC Stahl Brandenburg.[4]

In 1987, Healy moved to his hometown club, Derry City, where he won 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.[2] 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.

International career[edit]

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.[2] 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.[4] He won his fourth and final cap in the first post-World Cup game, Northern Ireland losing 2–0 in Austria.[2]

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.[2]

Management career[edit]

In October 1993 Healy returned to Coleraine as player-manager, taking over from Willie McFaul and back to Derry as manager in December 1994.[4] 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 in May 2004.[6] 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.[2]

Other work[edit]

Whilst playing in Northern Ireland, Healy served a four-year apprenticeship as a butcher, and spent his nights as a club singer.[7] He 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.

Personal life[edit]

Healy has three children; Alan, Georgina and Patrick. Patrick was a mascot for Derry City in the 1989 FAI Cup final when Felix scored the winning goal.


  • Sourced from Felix Healy profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
Club Season Division League FA Cup Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Sligo Rovers[8] 1974–75 League of Ireland 20 1
1975–76 League of Ireland 4 1
Total 24 1
Finn Harps[8] 1978–79 League of Ireland 4 0
Port Vale 1978–79 Fourth Division 23 2 1 0 0 0 24 2
1979–80 Fourth Division 18 0 0 0 2 0 20 0
Total 41 2 1 0 2 0 44 2
Derry City[8] 1987–88 League of Ireland Premier Division 29 3
1988–89 League of Ireland Premier Division
1989–90 League of Ireland Premier Division
1990–91 League of Ireland Premier Division 25 4
Coleraine[8] 1991–92 Irish League 26 1


As a player[edit]

Finn Harps
Derry City

As a manager[edit]

Derry City
Finn Harps


  1. ^ "Felix Healy". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 9 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Felix Healy". nifootball.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  3. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 133. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Coleraine Legends - Felix Healy ZoomInfo Cached Page". colerainefc.com. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  5. ^ M. Brodie (ed.), Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 2009–2010, p. 102. Belfast:Ulster Tatler Publications
  6. ^ "ZoomInfo Cached Page". ireland.com. 4 May 2004. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  7. ^ "Felix Healy: The wee fella from Derry who played in the World Cup". Irish Examiner. 4 June 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Felix Healy". National Football Teams. Retrieved 10 July 2016.