Former AFC Bournemouth and current Bristol City manager Sean O’Driscoll has paid tribute to Cherries legend Steve Fletcher.
Fletch announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 40 last Friday.
The Cherries legend ends his 20 year association with the club as a player after amazingly playing 728 games for the club, an all time appearance record that is unlikely to ever be beaten.
Six of those years came playing under O’Driscoll, where scoring and winning promotion in the Division Three Play-Off Final at the Millennium Stadium in 2003 was the highlight of his first spell at the club.
Whilst his return in January 2009 under manager Eddie Howe provided the fairytale ending to an already remarkable career.
Fletch went on to score the goal to secure the clubs Football League status following a seventeen point penalty. He then played in 45 out of 46 games the following season as promotion was secured despite a 16 month transfer embargo.
His final appearance then came just one week after the club secured promotion to the second tier of English Football for only the second time in the clubs history.
O’Driscoll told the Daily Echo…
“When Eddie (Howe) told me he was thinking of bringing back Steve to Bournemouth, I thought it was an inspired idea, Fletch was the one player who, if he wasn`t in the team for whatever reason, the opposition manager would always say to me afterwards how pleased they were when they saw his name wasn`t on the team-sheet.
“His kind have become rarer and rarer in the game but the value of having that type, and quality, of player in your artillery never went unrecognised in football…’
‘…Fletch played with an enormous heart and desire, it was why people loved him. The biggest tribute you can pay him is that there will never be another player like Steve. He deserves every accolade he receives.”
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