FAITH­FUL KEV SET TO BAG SIR TOM HON­OUR

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John Lyons

the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

His fi­nal man­ager at Brent­ford, Mark War­bur­ton, had noth­ing but praise for his for­mer cap­tain.

“Kevin was a plea­sure to work with,” said the cur­rent Not­ting­ham For­est boss. “His hon­esty, in­tegrity and com­mit­ment to the cause was al­ways there. He was a very tal­ented foot­baller and he had a thirst for knowl­edge.

“He will go on to be an out­stand­ing coach. Kevin is a true one-club man, he loves Brent­ford and the fans love his com­mit­ment and de­vo­tion to the cause.”

The Sir Tom Fin­ney Award is pre­sented to a player who has had an ex­cep­tional ca­reer in the EFL. In re­cent years, strik­ers Kevin Phillips and Kevin Davies have won the award, which was re­named in 2014 to per­ma­nently hon­our the Pre­ston and Eng­land leg­end.

The EFL Awards take place tonight at the Lon­don Hil­ton on Park Lane when win­ners will be crowned for achieve­ments on and off the pitch, in­clud­ing awards for the best player in each divi­sion of the EFL. BRENT­FORD leg­end Kevin O’Con­nor will re­ceive the pres­ti­gious Sir Tom Fin­ney Award at the 2017 EFL Awards tonight.

A one club man, O’Con­nor, who is now Brent­ford’s B team head coach, is in his third decade at Grif­fin Park af­ter pro­gress­ing through the Bees’ youth sys­tem.

The 35-year-old signed pro­fes­sional terms in 1999 and went on to make 501 first team ap­pear­ances in 16 years, putting him fourth on the club’s all-time ap­pear­ance list.

Brent­ford chair­man Cliff Crown said: “Kevin has al­ways per­formed to the best of his abil­ity and shown great lead­er­ship through­out his time at Brent­ford.

“There are very few play­ers that can say they have played for a club more than 500 times in 15 years.”

O’Con­nor re­tired in 2015 af­ter help­ing Brent­ford win pro­mo­tion to the Cham­pi­onship

LOYAL: Kevin O’Con­nor

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