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Lee Herron on the loss of ‘a dear, dear friend’

22 June 2016

Eamonn Dolan in the words of his assistant

Our Assistant Academy Manager Lee Herron worked shoulder-to-shoulder to Eamonn Dolan throughout Eamonn’s 12 years at Reading Football Club, until he passed away on Monday evening.

Lee reflected on Eamonn’s life in his own words…

For me, Eamonn was a dear, dear friend.

Of course he was also our boss at the Academy, but he was much, much more than that.  He was – and will remain – an inspiration.  I’m ultimately privileged to have spent really close time with him over a number of years, both in and out of work.

He had a phenomenal knack of believing in people.  Even when others around wouldn’t, he would continually believe in them.  And more often than not he was proven right.

In truth, the work that he did at the club wasn’t really a job – he loved working together as a group of people.  Day in, day out, we would spend more time there than anywhere else because he loved it.  We had ‘serious fun’ with what we did.

It’s important to know that Eamonn chose to work for Reading.  He had offers to leave, but in his own words he would say to me: ‘We are part of something special here kid.’  He wasn’t wrong!

He would energise people every day to want to improve and get better, and to take us as far as we could go within our individual careers and as an Academy.  Eamonn could only be positive.  There’s nothing else that he could be – that was just him, even in the darkest hours.

A lot of our staff have long service to this football club, and a lot of that is because we’re working in an environment that no other place could replicate – and he was at the forefront of that.

It is very difficult to put any type of words next to Eamonn, because he was one of a kind.  The messages that I have received since his passing from all over the world is testament to that.

We loved him when he was here and we continue to love him now that he’s not.

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