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The opening of The Byrne Stand

Monday 22nd April 2019

Over the years, many people have contributed to the growth and development of Northwood Football Club. But there is only one family which has provided as many as five brothers to the cause – the Family Byrne.

As youngsters, brothers John, Dave, Ray, Pat, Paul, sister Dorothy and their mum played football and cricket in Northwood Recreation Ground, which was just a short walk from Rochester Road where they lived.

All five brothers became involved with Northwood Football Club, and before Monday's match against Marlow, the club were very pleased and proud to officially name the main stand in The AcreTweed Stadium as The Byrne Stand, as our way of recognising their magnificent contributions over many years.

John made his debut for Northwood as a 14-year-old way back in the 1951/52 season. He moved on from Northwood to join the Arsenal groundstaff, later playing for Hendon, Wealdstone, Eynesbury Rovers, Rolls Royce and Leavesden before re-joining the Woods in 1974. John has been a Woods supporter in more recent times.

Pat has been involved at Northwood for many years, as player (making his debut in 1955), manager and is now the club’s Life President. Most of Pat’s playing career was prior to Woods' election to the Middlesex League, and he made a total of around 275 appearances in a Woods shirt at different levels. He also played elsewhere, including at Pinner FC and Eynesbury Rovers.

Dave played in the club's first-ever Middlesex League game at Harefield United in September 1970, and made a total of 419 appearances in a Woods shirt at all levels. Dave sadly passed away several years ago.

Said to be something of a madcap goalkeeper, Ray played in the club's early Middlesex League years before emigrating to Australia after 13 years with the club. He played almost 400 games at different levels for Northwood.

Paul holds the post-war record for scoring the most goals in a first team game for Northwood – seven in a 1967 County Cup tie – and regularly found the net during his playing career. He made a total of around 375 appearances in a Woods shirt, making his debut in 7 January 1961. Paul was club secretary for a number of years, and was player-manager when the Woods won the Middlesex League Cup (their first major trophy at that level) by beating Yeading 2-1 in 1975. He has for many years helped with the pitch maintenance at Northwood Park.

PHOTOS by James Brown