Danny Lafferty leaves Derry City for Sligo Rovers with a 'heavy heart'

DANNY Lafferty insists his desire to play regular football was behind his decision to move to Sligo Rovers as the former Derry City left-back completed his move to the Showgrounds this afternoon.

The 33 year-old former Sheffield United and Burnley defender was delighted to end his Derry career on a high after lifting the FAI Cup last weekend.

The Carnhill native made 111 appearances, scoring 16 goals in his two spells with the Candy Stripes and says it was 'an honour and a privilege' to represent his hometown club.

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"It's been an honour to play for my hometown club," said Lafferty. "It was an ambition growing up like it is for any young man in Derry. It's always an honour and a privileged eto look back and say you've played for Derry City.

"I'm not the type of person to hold grudges or animosity, it's just part and parcel of football and in life. These things happen. Listen the manager has made his decisions and that's just it. That's just part of football!"

The former Northern Ireland international has had spells in Scotland, signing for Celtic in 2006, and England where he joined Burnley in 2012, making 40 appearances for them before loan spells with Rotherham United, Oldham Athletic, Sheffield United and Peterborough before returning to the League of Ireland to sign with Shamrock Rovers in 2019, where he won an FAI Cup that season and a League title in 2020.

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In 2021, Lafferty signed a two-year deal with Derry City and joins the Bit O'Red today until at least the end of the 2023 League of Ireland season.

Sligo manager John Russell commented: "I’m delighted we have announced the signing of Danny Lafferty. Danny is a player of immense quality. He is an attacking full back who possesses a great passing range and crossing ability.

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Danny Laffery severed ties with Derry City and signed on the dotted line for Sligo Rovers.

‘’Danny knows the league well and brings a wealth of experience having played for his country and spent the majority of his career in the UK. ’He is a player I’ve always admired and I’m excited to start working with him’’.

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Lafferty reported to training today in his first day as a Sligo player and he's excited about the move:

‘’When I spoke to John I was immediately taken aback by his ambition for the club, and it aligned with what I want as well. ’I’m looking forward to getting in and getting going, meeting all the lads.

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‘’I’ve always liked coming to play at The Showgrounds and even more so now next year. I can’t wait to be playing in front of the Sligo Rovers fans’’.

Derry boss Ruaidhri Higgins praised Lafferty for his contribution during his tenure at the club.

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"Danny has been a brilliant professional and his experience has been so valuable to me and the squad since I joined the club," said Higgins. "I'm sure our supporters will remember him fondly and in particularly some very important goals he's scored over his two spells with the club.

"We wish Danny every success moving forward."