Today, club legend Geoff Greenaway called time on his playing career; retiring after 28 years unbroken service at Lurgan Town both in the youth teams and senior section. Greenaway made his debut for the 1st team as a young 15 year old in a 3-2 win against Corner House; a game he remembers fondly. “I knew sitting beside the likes of Stuarty Gordon and Ian Crooks that everything would be ok”. He finished after today’s pre season game against Banbridge Town.
A no nonsense style player he made a career playing in the back line. Happiest at right back or centre half you knew you were going to get everything he had each and every time he stepped on to the pitch. He trained as he played too; with 100% commitment and effort. Strong in the air and ferocious in the tackle, there wasn’t much that got past him. At right back he liked to get forward and even chipped in with the odd goal. I remember well a game against Riverdale in Lurgan Park. Geoff scored the opening two goals of the game and celebrated with gusto. Little did he know Riverdale would come back and win.
In 2011/12 the then 1st team manager Tim Lennon handed Geoff the title of Club Captain, thus earning him the nickname “Skipper”. A thoroughly likeable guy, anyone who has had the pleasure of playing alongside him has nothing but praise. Current 1st team manager Lee Dickson had this to say: “Congratulations to Geoff on a fantastic career at Lurgan Town. 28 years at one club through good times and bad is an achievement that he should very proud of. As a friend, his team mate and his coach if anyone deserves to have a great send off like this, it’s Geoff. It’s an old cliché, but in this case a true one, if you had a team of 11 Geoff Greenaway’s you wouldn’t be far away any year, he’s a class act! Congratulations to him and I hope he enjoys every minute of his retirement.”
Throughout his time at Town, 36 year old Skipp has picked up 6 winners medals including 4 league titles. He is also not without his fair share of individual awards, picking up 9 trophies including 5 Player of the Year and 1 Players Player of the Year awards – a testament to how valuable he was to the club throughout the years. In 2013 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his service to the club.
When quizzed on his favourite game of his estimated 800 senior appearances (we only have stats from 2004 onwards) Geoff picked out the epic battle against Dungannon Swifts as his favourite. ”Dungannon away in the quarter final of the Mid Ulster Cup. It ended up a defeat but to take a team that went onto the Irish Cup Final that same year and with Niall McGinn, Mark McAllister, Darren Murphy, Johny Montgomery and co to pens was a real success. A total back to the wall job, everybody was saying it would be a cricket score”. He went on to say: “I’m gonna miss the craic in the changing rooms and on training nights. But unfortunately the body won’t recover in time. It has been an absolute pleasure to play for this club. As a young lad growing up in Lurgan I could have been at worse things than playing football so I would like to thank the club for that. To everyone I played with, thank you”.
Enjoy your retirement Skipper. It is fully deserved. It has been a pleasure to play alongside you for so many years both in the youth teams and senior teams at Lurgan Town. I have great memories of our road trips to away matches, our county level games and our many discussions on the games we played. As a player I always looked up to you and endeavoured to raise my game to the high standard you set. Lurgan Town have lost a remarkable player and captain today, but I am delighted that you are staying with the club to pass on your knowledge to the younger generation. SG
We all dream of a team of Geoff Greenaways. #heartonthesleeve