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End of an era for O'Neill at Admiral as long-serving club secretary retires from role

PUBLISHED: 10:00 08 May 2019

Islington Admiral honoured long-serving club secretary Steve O'Neill on May 4 (pic: Islington Admiral FC)

Islington Admiral honoured long-serving club secretary Steve O'Neill on May 4 (pic: Islington Admiral FC)

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After helping found the club in 1983, Admiral's club secretary has stepped away from his role

Islington Admiral honoured long-serving club secretary Steve O'Neill on May 4 (pic: Islington Admiral FC)Islington Admiral honoured long-serving club secretary Steve O'Neill on May 4 (pic: Islington Admiral FC)

The end of the season has marked the end of an era for Islington Admiral after one of their founders stepped away from the club.

Steve O'Neill helped to form Admiral in 1983 and went on to serve as the club's secretary.

O'Neill, though, decided this season would be his last as club secretary and was honoured at a special game on May 4.

The match, hosted at Hadley FC, saw Admiral Legends take on a team from Old Aloysians, with plenty turning out to honour O'Neill.

Admiral's long-serving club secretary was also awarded a commemorative plaque to mark O'Neill's time with the club.

"After being at Market Road for thirty six seasons, that my time is done," said O'Neill.

"I'm lucky enough to have made some lifelong friends through my involvement with Admiral FC.

"As a club, we've had numerous great nights in the Islington Midweek League in that time.

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"I will miss the match nights at Market Road where that cold wind seems to materialise from nowhere to chill you through to the bone, even in the summer months.

"I will miss the players from all teams because without players and clubs, you can't have a football match."

During O'Neill's time with Admiral, the club were able to win an astonishing 24 trophies.

And though he looks back fondly on those successes, there was an off-the-pitch memory that sticks out as a highlight for O'Neill during his time with Admiral.

"One of my proudest moments was handing over a cheque for £8,600 to Anthony Clark that our club, along with dozens of friends, other football clubs, Islington Boxing Club and Islington Midweek League, raised to help him and his family cope whilst their son, Tony, underwent treatment for leukaemia," he added.

"The good news today is that Tony is now in remission after lots of intensive treatment."

And after spending so long as Admiral's club secretary, O'Neill also paid tribute to those filling that role at other clubs.

"A club secretary is a small but vital cog in a big wheel and they should never be taken for granted," he said.

"They are the ones that wash the kit, collect the subs, pick the team and sometimes even play.

"They are all unsung heroes and should be treated with the respect they deserve, though it's not always the case."

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