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PLAYERS A-Z

Defender

Martin O'Donnell

A tall defender who had lots of senior experience before joining the Woods, Martin was calm and controlled at all times.

Having started his career at Tottenham Hotspur, he played at Hayes, Walthamstowe Avenue and Southall before joining Northwood in February 1976.

 

 





NORTHWOOD RECORD

Season
League Apps.
League goals
Cup Apps.
Cup goals
Total apps.
Total goals
1976-77
14
0
3
0
17
0
1977-78
19
0
7
0
26
0
1978-79
27
1
8
1
35
2
1979-80
15
0
10
0
25
0
TOTAL
75
1
28
1
113
2

 

Six-times Woods winner Martin O'Donnell recalls his football times

Defender Martin O’Donnell made 113 Northwood appearances between February 1976 and March 1980 – being involved in six trophy wins in that time!
We caught up with Martin recently, and he talked about his football career, including his successful years playing at Northwood.
“I left school 1965 and joined Tottenham Hotspur as an apprentice professional”, he said. “I was offered a pro contract in early 1967 however I fractured my thigh in a training session and subsequently found out I had osteomyelitis, which is a disease of the marrow of the bone which had weakened the thigh bone – hence the break.
“I was in hospital and plaster for 9 months before the thigh healed, and on leaving hospital Spurs were very good as they paid my salary up to the end of season 1967/68. But they released me as my leg was never going to be strong enough. In fact, my left leg was over one inch shorter than my right leg.
“I was 18 at the time and couldn’t run or play any sport for about 18 months but I eventually got myself fit and joined Hayes, who were managed at the time by Eddie Gibbins an old Spurs player who contacted me via an ex Chief Scout Dick Walker.
“After two years at Hayes, then in the Athenian League, during which I played in the first team, enjoying the fact that I could play again! I was then approached to play for Walthamstow Avenue in the Isthmian League, who had some ex Spurs players in their ranks, and I spent two successful years there.
“Next came a moved to Southall, who were managed by Geoff Taylor and we were very successful; I met a lot of guys there who remain close friends. I then got married and my life changed as I joined a major cosmetic company and the role took me all over the UK and Europe, which meant very little time for regular training etc.
“At the time, I played on Sundays with a team named Langford, for whom Paddy Coburn played. He invited me to join Northwood, and the rest is history!
“I loved my time at Northwood, in particular the fans and members, such as Paul and Pat Byrne. The players were a tight group and many of them could have played at a much higher level. They were great times, and we won a few trophies!”