As the dust settled on an entralling cup tie on Saturday one man slipped quietly out of Solitude as he called time on his playing career.
And what a career is has been for Stephen Carson.From playing at the very highest level with Rangers to representing his country.
He also lit up the Irish League with some scintilating displays. Stevie Carson was the type of player us ‘journos’ would pay to watch. Not only did he put bums on seats he also got them off them with his electrifying wing play and spectacular goals,
On Saturday though he brought the curtain down and he admitted it was a case of mixed emotions as he prepares to head off on his next journey, a coaching role with Everton America in Connecticut.
“It’s very much a case of mixed feelings for me,” said Carson.
“I’m excited about the new challenge ahead, but it is tinged with sadness as I’m bringing the curtain down on my Coleraine career.
“I have so many good memories from my time at Coleraine. I have such a good affinity with the club, I love it, it’s my club.
“I really can’t thank everyone enough for everything they have done for me during my seven-and-a-half years at The Showgrounds. I really am humbled.
“From the day and hour I first came here everyone has done all they can for me. From the fans through to the rest of the players, management, board and chairman I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”
The Ballymoney man has been working hard in recent years off the pitch attaining his coaching badges and a sports science degree and it was always his dream to move into this side of the game.
“That was always the plan,” he said.
“It’s something which I enjoy, especially working with young players.
“This is an exciting opprtunity for me and the next step in my football journey.”
Carson was delighted though to be able to end his career playing for Coleraine.
“I’d just like to thank Oran and Colin McKendry for making it possible for me to come back here,” he said.
“I enjoyed my time at the Glens but I wanted to come back here.”
That sums up Carson as not only is he a great player but he is also a great man too. He will long be remembered.
’There is only one....’