Paul Heatley Calls It A Day After Wonderful Career

14th May 2024

It was with a heavy heart that Crusaders Football Club have accepted Paul Heatleys decision to retire from football. The tricky winger has tortured defences all round Europe in the 12 years at the Club and he will be remembered for his spectacular goals, super performances, his tenacity, his bubbly personality and rapore with Crusaders fans.

Pauls stats speak for themselves with 486 games played scoring 214 goals in that time. We can all talk of our favourite “Heats” goal should it be either of the goals scored in Lithuania when we qualified for a further European round for the first time in the Clubs history, his goal that he pushed by the goalkeeper at Solitude in 2015 to effectively seal the Premiership title in, the overhead kick he scored so beautifully against Glenavon at Seaview in 2019 or the wonder goal in the 2023 Irish Cup Final against Ballymena United. These are only a few of the great strikes Paul has scored and we could go on and on in the debate and never agree. Pauls performances over the years helped Crusaders to many successes and he certainly was a player who everyone would have taken for their team in a heartbeat. Paul never shirked a tackle or a challenge in his time and would often leave an opponent in his wake and he drove forwards to goal. It wasn't all about goals for Paul either and he assisted in 138 goals for his team mates and again that is some record for the winger. Off the pitch he was a great Club ambassador and had time for supporters, media and anything that was asked of the man which made him the approachable and likeable individual he was.

Paul won 3 Premiership medals, 3 Irish Cups, 2 Co.Antrim Shields and 1 Charity Shield. He was also named Ulster Footballer of the Year 2014-15 and Northern Ireland Football Writers Association Player of the Year 2014-2015. Paul also won numerous Player of the Month awards, was named in the Premiership team of the Year several times and collected many Player of the Season trophies from Crusaders Supporters Clubs over the yeras also.

We would like to offer Paul our best wishes on his retirement and with it a massive thank you for everything you have done for the Club. Enjoy your time with your wife and young family going forward and do not be a stranger at Seaview in the future.

You are a legend Heats and you will be remembered fondly in such a positive way.