O' Neill leads out the Saints for the final time. Legend is a word that gets bandied about in modern times, but make no mistake, Billy O' Neill is a legend.
Born and raised in Clonsilla, Billy was a club schoolboy who went on to lift Senior trophies for the club. A boy amongst men when he made his debut, he took knocks, gave knocks, scored goals and wore his shirt with pride.
As a committed, talented and strong midfielder – he was the Saints backbone for many years both on the pitch and off. Billy was able to conjure up energy in the squad like no other through his end to end style of play and will to win. One moment you’d catch the talented midfielder in his own end defending from an onslaught and immediately after the clearance he’d be 70 yards up the pitch delivering the vital cross leading to a goal. Undying passion and a steely determination were on display each and every time he stepped onto the pitch. A monumental player for the Saints, he played with full commitment, desire and passion for the club. He utilised his terrific football brain to win games and lead by example. Billy's passion shone through as he drove the Saints on in every single game.
It was a very proud moment in 2014 when as Captain he lead the Saints onto the pitch to play Cork City in the FAI Senior Cup in Turners Cross. We sang his name loud and proud from the away section. Billy wanted to be a winner. He was a winner, he leaves with Sunday Senior 1 and 1A , and Saturday Division 2 and Major 1B winners medals. Promotions, Moore Cup and Wally Winn Cup Winner and various personal club accolades.
For those of us who support the club and particularly our Senior teams, we witnessed one of the genuine greats playing for the club he loves and we love. He has cemented his name in the history and folklore of the club. Thanks for all the wonderful memories.
On behalf of the club, we wish you, Ger and Chloe all the best of luck in the future.