Cork City FC have confirmed that Gearóid Morrissey and Steven Beattie will not be signing back with the club for the 2022 First Division season, kicking off in February.
Midfielder Morrissey made over 300 appearances for his hometown club across two spells since joining the club in 2010, winning the Premier Division, First Division, two FAI Cups, three President’s Cups and three Munster Senior Cups in his time with the club.
He confirmed to CorkCityFC.ie that he has taken the decision to retire from League of Ireland football at the age of just 30 He said: “First and foremost, I am grateful for the opportunity I got to play for Cork City. The way I was treated, the memories we made, I am so grateful to the club, the fans, my teammates, everybody... I will miss playing for the club, I am sad to be walking away from it, but it is just something I have to do at this moment in time. It hurts me to leave, but I am happy with what we have achieved in my time with the club, the memories and the people I have met along the way, not to mention captaining the club for the last two seasons.
"There have been some amazing moments, winning the league, playing in Europe, cup finals and so much more, memories which I will always treasure, but I am moving on now to a new chapter of my life and it just remains for me to wish Colin, the staff, the players and the supporters the very best of luck for next season and beyond.”
Beattie originally joined the club midway through the 2015 season, before re-joining the club this year after two years playing in the United States.
The versatile Dubliner made over 100 appearances for the club in all competitions, winning the Premier Division, two FAI Cups, three President’s Cups and two Munster Senior Cups in that time. Commenting on his departure from the club, Beattie said: “I have loved being back at Cork City; it was great to get another opportunity to play at Turner’s Cross in front of the City fans again.
"I think everybody knows how much I have loved playing for this club, so to get the chance to do it again was fantastic. Hopefully, Colin and the players and staff can kick on now next season and get this club back up to where we all want it to be, and I wish them all the very best of luck in doing so.”
City boss Colin Healy paid tribute to both players, saying: “Having played alongside Gearóid myself, he was an absolutely magnificent player for the club. A great person off the pitch, a real character in the dressing room and he will be missed by a lot of people within the club. He played a lot of games with the club and stuck with the club even when things were not going well, and we will always appreciate that. We all thank Gearóid for everything he has done for the club and wish him the very best for his future.”
Of Beattie, he said: “Beats has always been a very popular player at the club since he first came here in 2015. He was hugely successful in his first spell with the club, and then he came back to us at the start of the year and added experience to the group which we needed at the time. As a person, everyone has huge respect for Beats with the career he has had and the presence he has around the club, and we all greatly appreciate what he has done for the club over the years. He leaves on very good terms with everyone at the club and we wish him the very best of luck going forward.”