The story of Ivan Sproule is straight from the pages of 'Roy of the Rovers.'
National team Northern Ireland
International debut 7th September 2005 (versus England)
A semi professional with first Omagh Town then Institute in Northern Ireland, the speedy Sproule took advantage of the offer of a trial with Hibs in January 2005. He impressed Tony Mowbray enough to be signed until the end of the season for £5,000. Grabbing the opportunity with both hands, he scored in Hibernian's 3-1 win against Celtic at Parkhead and was given a two-year contract.
A hat trick against Rangers in an unforgettable and famous 3-0 victory at Ibrox in August 2005 made him a firm favourite with the fans, and his reputation was bolstered when he scored again in yet another 3-0 Hibs victory at Ibrox in the Scottish Cup later that same season.
Ivan Sproule causes problems in the Kilmarnock defence during the 2007 League Cup Final
His rags to riches move was completed when he made his international debut, coming on as a late substitute in Northern Ireland's famous 1-0 victory over England at Windsor Park just a few months after signing his first full professional contract. He scored his first goal for Northern Ireland against Estonia in March 2006.
Sproule was rumoured to have turned down the chance of a £1 million move to Russia, but he joined Bristol City for a reputed £500,000 fee in June 2007.
He made 11 appearances in total for Northern Ireland, scoring once.
After enjoying a second spell with Hibernian Football Club, Ivan joined fellow SPL team Ross County mid-way through the 2012/13 season before signing for Linfield in 2014.
Full name Ivan Sproule
Date of birth 18th February 1981
Place of birth Castlederg, Northern Ireland
Height 5ft 8in