Friends, family and team mates past a present offer words about Club Captain Kevin O'Connor after he reached 500 Brentford games
Brentford FC Captain Kevin O’Connor made history last weekend.
The skipper played his 500th Brentford game in the Sky Bet League One win over Stevenage on Saturday, May 3.
He became only the fourth player in Brentford history to reach the landmark.
It was also his 420th Football League game for The Bees, putting him third in the all-time list of Brentford players that have appeared in the most league matches.
Tributes poured in for Kevin before and after the match.
A selection can be seen below:
Kevin’s wife Penny:
October 12 2002, Chicagos Windsor, I met a 'labourer', handsome, bit shy, great legs and the most amazing eyes, that night my life would change forever.
Now 'King Kev' is how your more commonly known, April 2014 Milton Keynes, 3,500 fans singing your name, how things have changed!
A marriage, loss of two parents, the birth of two beautiful girls, so many ups and downs with football (too many to mention!) and 12 years of memories bring us to today, your 500th appearance for the Club that runs through your veins.
No one knows more than I do how much you love Brentford, in fact when I married you I always knew I'd be second to the Club
Words cannot express how proud I am of you not just today but every day.
Your dedication, strength and determination always amaze me.
We've been on such a journey together; I'd never change a minute of it.
I just want to say thank you for our life, for our girls, for making me your wife and most of all saying 'me' (Chicagos, 2002!).
Love you loads.
Kevin’s Dad Pat:
Obviously, being Kevin’s father I’m extremely proud of him.
He was such a determined young man when he was a schoolboy and when he got his opportunity to go to a professional football club he got his head down and worked hard.
Kevin made his first start for Brentford, played for the Republic of Ireland Under-21s, and has made myself and his mum very proud.
Brentford Manager Mark Warburton:
I am so pleased for Kevin.
We must recognise Kev’s achievement.
He has seen so many changes and people like Kevin that feel for the Club have a big role to play.
I was delighted for him today.
Kevin is well-respected and he has earned that.
He is steeped in the Club and wants to be part of taking the Club to the next level.
Goalkeeper David Button:
Kevin is a legend and he deserves that status.
I sit with him on bus and he is a top bloke as well as a great player.
He leads us by example.
Everything he does around the place is top class.
I can’t speak highly enough of him.
He deserves all the praise he gets.
Defender Tony Craig:
To make 500 appearances for one club is absolutely fantastic.
I am pleased he got that accolade.
He is a great man.
He is a gentleman on and off the pitch.
You look up to him as he is a model professional and I class him as a friend.
You can always speak to him.
He is a credit to Brentford Football Club.
Kevin is Mr Reliable.
You can depend on him, he works hard in training.
Kevin is the Club Captain and he always has the armband when he is on the pitch, it is a pleasure for me to give to him.
Brentford Head of Medical Neil Greig:
I worked with Kevin when he had two significant injuries in the past two years.
He has proven himself to be a shining example to everyone around him.
He didn’t let himself become despondent.
Every day he came in with a smile on his face and worked so hard and so professionally that everyone around him responded.
He is greatly motivated.
He would never give up on himself or his career.
His injuries were significant and lesser people may have gone down.
He fought back and credit to him.
Kevin and I have built up a friendship; it will be an emotional day for Kevin and for me as well.
Goalkeeper Richard Lee:
It is incredible what he has achieved.
He is Brentford through and through, he loves the Club.
Since I came here he made me feel welcome.
We have become good friends.
He will go down in Brentford history.
This doesn’t happen any more.
I don’t doubt he has had offers, to show the loyalty he has and for the managers to take to him like they have, says a lot about him as a person.
It takes a certain character to do that.
Kevin epitomises what this club is about.
He is the last one to leave every day, he has maximised what he has got and continues to do so.
Former team mate Mark Williams:
If I was to describe Kevin as a person it would be similar to how he is as a footballer: a good honest guy, reliable, dependable and just the person you’d like to have around in your life.
I’ve known him since the age of 13/14 so it’s a proud moment that he’ll go down in Brentford folklore and it’s been great to have been his friend for nearly twenty years.
Former Youth Team mate Paul Woodhouse:
I met Kevin when I was 14, we joined Brentford at exactly the same week and from then on we’ve always been mates.
We also met Mark Williams that day who has turned out to be both our best friend too.
As a guy, you couldn’t ask for anything better, he’s down to earth, kind as can be – he’ll do absolutely anything for you.
He’s been an amazing servant to a great club, a good honest pro, do anything for the team and that’s what he’s like as a person.
Former team mate Stephen Hunt:
The biggest compliment I can pay him is that as a footballer he’s played in numerous positions; to able to adapt, you have to be a good footballer.
He looks after himself, is a good trainer, good worker and been a great servant to Brentford and his 500th game is a fitting tribute to him and I’m sure he’ll get a great reception.
Former team mate Simon Moore:
Kevin is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met.
When I first joined Brentford five years ago, he made me feel very welcome; nothing is too much for him if you need help or advice, he’s the first person that would be there for you.
He’s competitive, good at all sports; I’ve played him at darts, snooker, you name it and Kev will always beat me.
He’s such a humble guy, so modest and the best pro I’ve come across.
Former Youth Team Manager Bob Booker:
Kevin joined as a trainee and you just knew he wasn’t going to be a problem, passionate about what he was doing, focussed and became very versatile.
No matter what position you played him in, you would get a shift out of him.
He was a pleasure to work with; he’s a nice lad with a lovely family.
It’s one of my proudest moments as a Youth Team Manager to work with someone like that and see how he progressed.