Brentford icon O’Connor hangs up boots

Brentford club captain Kevin O’Connor, who played 501 times for the Bees in a 15-year career, has announced his retirement.

The 33-year-old will remain at Griffin Park to coach the club’s development squad and help new staff integrate as the new management structure beds in.

Fittingly, O’Connor’s last act as a professional footballer was to score the winning penalty for Brentford in the Capital One Cup shoot-out against Dagenham and Redbridge last August.

He is fourth on the Bees’ appearances list and was inducted into the club’s hall of fame earlier this month.

O’Connor said: “I could have looked for another club and tried to remain as a player or stay here and help to build the future of Brentford.

“There may have been clubs that would have taken me but it is not something I every really looked in to. I always wanted to stay at Brentford.

“I realised last summer when I signed a player-coach contract that this was the way my career was going to develop.

“I will miss playing but I am very happy with the role I have.”

O’Connor’s new position extends his 20-year association with the club, having signed as a schoolboy in 1995.

He made his first-team debut in February 2000 and earned a testimonial match against Fulham in July 2010, shortly after his 400th appearance.

The utility player, who has filled virtually every position on the field, clocked up 500 games against Stevenage on the final day of last season.

Rasmus Ankersen, Brentford’s co-director of football, added: “Kevin is held in very high regard by everyone and is the perfect person to inform the new coaching staff about what sort of club Brentford is if they need it.

“He understands the vision we have for the future of the club and wants to be a part of it.”

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