Mark McChrystal

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Mark McChrystal
Mark McChrystal 1.jpg
McChrystal playing for Bristol Rovers in 2013
Personal information
Full name Mark Thomas McChrystal[1]
Date of birth (1984-06-26) 26 June 1984 (age 31)
Place of birth Derry, Northern Ireland
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Bristol Rovers
Number 5
Youth career
–2003 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 (0)
2003 Bradford City (loan)
2003–2006 Derry City 44 (1)
2003 Institute (loan) 7 (0)
2007 Partick Thistle 15 (1)
2007–2009 Derry City 28 (0)
2009 Lisburn Distillery 3 (0)
2010 Derry City 30 (3)
2011–2013 Tranmere Rovers 41 (1)
2012 Scunthorpe United (loan) 3 (0)
2013– Bristol Rovers 82 (1)
National team
Northern Ireland Schoolboys
Northern Ireland U18
2004–2006 Northern Ireland U21 9 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:12, 3 January 2013 (UTC).

† Appearances (goals)

Mark Thomas McChrystal (born 26 June 1984) is a Northern Irish footballer who currently plays for Bristol Rovers. Born in Derry, Northern Ireland, he is a left-footed defender, he has in the past also captained the Northern Ireland under-21 side.

Club career[edit]

McChrystal began his career at Wolverhampton Wanderers[2] where he was one of a plethora of young players from Northern Ireland playing there. After spending three years at Molineux, including a spell on loan at Bradford City in 2003,[3] he was released by the Midlands club and he eventually returned home to sign for his local team Derry City of the League of Ireland in April 2003,[3] despite interest from other English clubs. He was then loaned out to near neighbours Institute[2] by Dermot Keely on a three-month deal.

His stay in the Irish League was short-lived however, and after just six games for the club, he picked up an injury in the quarter-final of the North-West Cup against Moyola Park which hastened his return to Derry City.[2] He fought his way back into the team under Gavin Dykes and Peter Hutton but did not appear regularly during the reign of Stephen Kenny due to stiff competition in defence. Seen to be surplus to demands, he was released on 14 December 2006 after the appointment of Pat Fenlon as manager.[4]

Within a month he had moved to Glasgow-based club, Partick Thistle.[5] He made his Jags debut in a 2–0 defeat by Clyde on 2 January 2007[6] and was a regular through to the end of the season. He scored his only goal in a 4–3 defeat by Queen of the South as Partick almost came back from 4–0 down.[7]

He re-signed for Derry City in August 2007 after turning down a move to Glentoran[8] and being released by new Thistle manager Ian McCall. The following year he collected his first major honours, a winner's medal in the League Cup as Wexford Youths were routed 6–1[9] and a runners-up medal following an FAI Cup Final penalty shoot-out defeat by Bohemians.[10]

Unhappy with his limited first team chances after returning from a broken cheekbone and non-payment of wages, he negotiated an early release from his Derry contract in August 2009.[11] He went on trial at Huddersfield[12] but failed to win a deal[13] and Crewe Alexandra[14] before joining Lisburn Distillery on a short-term deal in late 2009.[15]

Unhappy over non-payment of his wages by Lisburn[11] he rejoined Derry City for a third spell in January 2010, signing a one-year contract.[16] He then went on to help Derry back into the Premier Division as First Division Champions.[17]

On 6 January 2011 he joined English club Tranmere Rovers on a six-month contract[18] and made his Football League debut as a 77th-minute substitute on 8 January against Walsall.[19] At the end of the 2010–11 season he offered a new contract by the club[20] and at the end of June he signed a two-year contract.[21]

His first goal for the club came against Scunthorpe on 5 May 2012 in Tranmere's final match of the season.[22]

On 3 January 2013, he signed a short term contract with League Two side Bristol Rovers. He made his home debut on 5 January in a 2–0 defeat to Gillingham.

International career[edit]

He gained Schoolboy caps while at St. Columb's College in his native Derry,[2] and added Under-18 caps whilst at Wolves.[2] He appeared nine times for Northern Ireland's Under 21 team, making his debut on 18 August 2004 against Switzerland, with his last appearance coming almost two years later on 16 August 2006 against Romania.[2]



Derry City
Bristol Rovers


He holds a degree in Business Studies with Accounts.[11]


  1. ^ "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/07/2011 and 31/07/2011" (PDF). The Football Association. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Player profile: Mark McChrystal". Northern Ireland's Footballing Greats. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Candystripes sign McCrystal". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 23 April 2003. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Delaney is released by Derry City". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 21 December 2006. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "McChrystal completes Thistle move". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 1 January 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Clyde 2–0 Partick Thistle". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 2 January 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "Queen of the South 4–3 Partick Thistle". Herald Scotland. 29 January 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "McChrystal returns to Derry City". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 1 August 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "Wexford Youths 1–6 Derry City". RTÉ Sport. 27 September 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  10. ^ "Bohs win FAI Ford Cup Final on penalty shoot-out". Football Association of Ireland. 23 November 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c "McChrystal returns to Brandywell to kick-start his career". Derry Journal. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  12. ^ "McChrystal lands Terriers trial". Sky News. Sky. 22 September 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  13. ^ "McChrystal misses out on deal". Sky News. Sky. 16 October 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  14. ^ Alex Gwyn Griffiths (6 November 2009). "Crewe Alex: Gradi ponders McChrystal move". The Sentinel. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "Mark in line for Distillery debut". Ulster Star. 19 November 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  16. ^ "Mark Scoltock moves from Institute to Derry City". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  17. ^ "Monaghan United 0–1 Derry City". League of Ireland. 30 October 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  18. ^ "Defender joins Tranmere Rovers". Tranmere Rovers. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  19. ^ "Tranmere 3–3 Walsall". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 8 January 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2011. 
  20. ^ "Rovers Offer Six New Contracts". Tranmere Rovers FC. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  21. ^ "Defender Mark McChrystal extends Tranmere contract". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 30 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  22. ^ "Tranmere 1 – 1 Rochdale". BBC Sport. 5 May 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 

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