Andrew Waterworth: Glenavon's former Linfield striker retires as Reds sign Mallon

Andrew Waterworth celebrates after scoring one of his 190 goals for Linfield
Waterworth scored 190 goals during a hugely successful eight-year stint at Linfield before moving to Glenavon last summer

Glenavon's former Linfield striker Andrew Waterworth has announced his retirement at the age of 36.

Waterworth joined Glenavon from Linfield last summer but his stint with the Lurgan Blues was hindered by Long Covid and work commitments.

"I wasn't giving them everything which didn't sit well with me," he said.

Cliftonville, meanwhile, have signed Bohemians winger Stephen Mallon who played at youth level for both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton hailed Waterworth's "attitude and influence in the changing room" despite scoring only three goals for the club in his 24 appearances.

"I'd like to thank Andy for his professionalism," added the Glenavon boss.

"It was a disappointment for both of us because we were looking to get Andy at his best but unfortunately he got Covid at the start of the season, which turned into Long Covid.

"He also got a promotion in his job, meaning he was away for weekends with the Northern Ireland U17s and U19s, which hampered him as well.

"Through it all he was also looking after his mum who was sick and unfortunately passed away during that period, so it was one of those bad years for Andy in every aspect of life. In terms of his career with us, it just wasn't to be."

Waterworth said that he knew halfway through the season that it "just wasn't viable to full commit to the club".

"If I couldn't give 100% then I was doing myself short and I was leaving the club short," added Waterworth, who scored 190 goals during his eight-year Linfield career after previous stints at Ards, Lisburn Distillery, Scottish club Hamilton and Glentoran.

"I'm disappointed I couldn't contribute more on the pitch but an opportunity came up in my own professional career that I couldn't turn down and it meant that I just had to give that my all."

Cliftonville's new signing Mallon's previous clubs include Sheffield United while the Belfast man has also had loan spells at Australian side Central Coast Mariners and Derry City.

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