- Wednesday December 20th, 2023 @ 14:50
New Long Term Deal For Forrester
Three time FAI Cup winner and 2023 PFAI Player of the Year Chris Forrester has signed a new long term contract at St Patrick's Athletic.
Since his debut in 2012, Forrester has made 332 appearances for The Saints, scoring 78 goals.
He became the first player in the club's history to play in four FAI Cup finals, and to win the competition three times, as he helped his club beat Bohemians 3-1 at Aviva Stadium last month.
Nobody is the current squad has played more times for St Pat's or won more trophies at Richmond Park than Chris.
The 31-year-old capped off a great 2023 when he was named PFAI Premier Division Player of the Year, voted by his peers as the best player in the League of Ireland last season.
Today's announcement follows the news that Club Captain Joe Redmond has also put pen to paper on a new long term contract as Jon Daly continues to build for 2024 and beyond.
Chris sat down with our YouTube channel for an in-depth interview shortly after signing, he's delighted:
"I'm delighted that the club has offered me a new deal, the security the new contract gives me is something that I wanted, and to continue playing for this club is an honour that I'm really appreciative of and something that I really couldn't turn down.
I've given a lot of time to this club and this club has given a lot to me, I think we have a great mutual respect, the conversations were easy and I'm really pleased.
I've been here at St Pat's for a lot of years, since my debut in 2012, the club were there for me when I first came home from the UK, they stood by me through a lot, I've always tried my best and my passion to play for St Patrick's Athletic is still there so hopefully that continues.
There have been a lot of special days, cup finals and league wins, I've seen ups and downs, but the club is definitely on the rise, with the amount of support we have now and the successes we've had in recent years, it's something I wanted to stay a part of and I want to strive for even more."
Manager Jon Daly said:
"Chris is one of the best ever St Patrick's Athletic players and for him to commit his long term future to the club is excellent news for everyone.
It's great for us to be able to tie down our key players, with Chris today and Joe Redmond earlier in the week.
We had good year last year and we want to try and build on that with the likes of Chris and Joe helping us to do that.
This year we've been able to keep hold of and retain quite a few of our players, as well as adding some real quality to the group in terms of our new signings, which is fantastic.
Chris had a really good season, scoring 13 league goals and some crucial penalties in our FAI Cup run too, and he made history by winning his third FAI Cup at St Pat's.
His ability is second to none, and that was recognised last month when he was named PFAI Player of the Year, an award he richly deserved.
He has been a key player for a number of years and will continue to be for more years to come as we hope to build on our recent successes on the pitch.
His influence off the pitch is another huge factor, he is a role model for our younger players and he's adored by our supporters, he gets what it means to play for and represent this club and he has a great relationship with his teammates, the coaching staff, the wider club staff, volunteers, fans and those around the area.
Chris and St Pat's have a special connection and we're very pleased that's going to continue for the next number of years."
St Patrick's Athletic Owner and Chairman Garrett Kelleher added:
"Chris and I met up a week or so ago, we spoke about life and football for three hours and then he told me he doesn't want to play for any other club.
We shook hands on a deal that took five minutes for the rest of his career.
Chris Forrester is a unique and special talent who's driven to win more and relishes playing in front of our adoring supporters."
FORRESTER AS A SAINT
Chris signed for Liam Buckley and St Pat's in January 2012 and was named St Pat's Young Player of the Year and PFAI Young Player of the Year as the club made it to the FAI Cup Final, losing to Derry City, before his many successes in 2013, 2014, 2021 and 2023.
He was part of our 2013 League of Ireland Premier Division winning team and was named St Pat's Young Player of the Year that season, The Saints finished three points ahead of Dundalk to win their ninth Premier Division title.
Forrester also helped the club to the 2014 FAI Cup, the club's first FAI Cup in 53 years came thanks to a 2-0 win against Derry City, Christy Fagan got both goals at The Aviva with Chris one of the stars of the show.
One of his greatest moments in a St Patrick's Athletic jersey came during his second spell, in the 2021 FAI Cup Final, when he scored a brilliant goal in front of over 36,000 fans at The Aviva to put St Pat's 1-0 up against Bohs, it finished 1-1 after extra time with The Super Saints winning on penalties.
He scored 13 league goals and two FAI Cup goals (both penalties) in 2023, making him top scorer at the club.
Forrester finished 4th in the race for the Premier Division Golden Boot, Johnny Afolabi and Jack Moylan both scored twice on the final night to take their tallies to 15 at the joint top, Pat Hoban (14) was third.
Chris has won St Pat's Goal of the Season on four occasions (2012, 2014, 2020 and 2022) and was named in the PFAI Premier Division Team of the Year in 2021, 2022 and 2023, he was also nominated for PFAI Player of the Year in 2021 and of course won that award in 2023.
His brilliant form for St Pat's in his first spell here saw Forrester sign for Peterborough United in August 2015, earning many plaudits for his performances for 'The Posh', winning Peterborough United Players Player of the Year at the end of the 2016-16 season, he was named club captain in 2016 and was called up to the Ireland senior squad for the first time.
Chris moved to SPL side Aberdeen on a three-year contract in June 2018, but returned to St Pat's on a multi-year deal in January 2019.
The 31-year-old is from Smithfield in Dublin, he played for Smithfield and Bohemians schoolboys, before joining Belvedere FC where he spent one season.