Hitchin Town’s Brett Donnelly calls time on his playing career

PUBLISHED: 15:54 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:11 14 July 2020

Former Biggleswade Town assistant manager and centre-forward Brett Donnelly has announced his retirement from football. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

Former Biggleswade Town assistant manager and centre-forward Brett Donnelly has announced his retirement from football. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

©Martyn Haworth MH Sports Photo +447463250714

Centre-halves will no doubt be breathing a sigh of relief but there will be many who miss seeing Brett Donnelly terrorising defences – after the striker decided to retire from football.

Brett Donnelly spent most of his career between Biggleswade Town and Hitchin Town. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTHBrett Donnelly spent most of his career between Biggleswade Town and Hitchin Town. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

Donnelly has spent his last few years moving more and more into a backroom position, first with Biggleswade Town and more recently with Hitchin Town, but even that was combined with lacing up the boots.

However, at the age of 38, his body has decided that enough is enough and it is time to concentrate solely on coaching and management.

He said: “After 21 years of playing senior men’s football on a Saturday, it’s time for me to call it a day.

“I’ve enjoyed just about every minute of it, except the injuries.

Brett Donnelly (nine) celebrates scoring for Hitchin Town against Stratford Town. Picture: DANNY LOOBrett Donnelly (nine) celebrates scoring for Hitchin Town against Stratford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

“To the people I’ve met over the years from the players, management and supporters to all those behind the scenes, I thank you all for making non-league football what it is.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play with some great players but, more importantly, brilliant men whose friendships I hope to have until I go.

“To the wife for always just allowing me to do what I love even though she has no idea about football, it’s been greatly appreciated.

“So it’s on to the next chapter. Hopefully being solely on the management team will be as fulfilling as playing.

Brett Donnelly in action for HitchinTown. Picture: DANNY LOOBrett Donnelly in action for HitchinTown. Picture: DANNY LOO

“Thanks to everyone.”

His career was spent mostly between the Canaries and the Waders but there were also spells with Barton Rovers, Potton United and Stotfold.

And the announcement, made on social media, was followed by a string of former team-mates, friends and even battered old foes coming out to wish him well.

Bedford Town manager Mark Ducket said: “Well done Brett. A superb mate and never gave anything less than 100 per cent on and off the pitch. Enjoy the rest.”

Brett Donnelly will move onto the touchline permanently after announcing his retirement. Picture: DANNY LOOBrett Donnelly will move onto the touchline permanently after announcing his retirement. Picture: DANNY LOO

Biggleswade Town as a club tweeted: “Good luck and thank you for being such a presence at Biggleswade Town over the years. One of our chairman’s favourites.”

Team-mate Dan Webb said: “The old war horse. All the best Brett, it was good to play with you, not so much against. The game will miss you and my nose will miss your elbows.”

Meanwhile Royston Town assistant manager Chris Watters simply said: “Good innings Donners. Welcome to the other side.”


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