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Paddy's special night

17 June 2013

Bar Manager on his retirement party

Paddy Sweeney said he could not have wished for a better send-off on Saturday night after around 200 people turned up for his retirement party at the club.

AFC Wimbledon Chief Executive Erik Samuelson (pictured above right with Paddy) presented our long-serving Bar Manager with a collection of Whisky glasses bearing his name and gave a speech about Paddy’s time at the club.

Dons supporters and club officials, along with representatives from AFC Wimbledon Ladies and Girls, Kingstonian FC officials, local five-a-side players and even people who knew Paddy from his previous job at Kingston University were among the people that came along on the night.

One of Paddy’s favourite bands Bad Influence played live in the back bar after Erik’s speech, which recalled the popular barman’s first Wimbledon game against Raynes Park Vale 10 years ago and praised Paddy for his valuable contribution since then.

At 68 years of age, Paddy may have called time on pulling the pints at the Cherry Red Records Stadium, but it is unlikely we have seen the last of him.

“I will miss the passion of the Wimbledon fans,” said Paddy. “But you cannot walk away from this and on Saturday afternoons I will either be here watching a match or be out in the garden at home as I am a keen gardener.

“I could not have asked for anything more from tonight. I have people here who are very special to me. It is a good mix of people with Wimbledon fans, AFC Wimbledon Ladies, the Dons Trust, and people who come to the club during the week when the bar is open. What Erik said was most complimentary and this is a wonderful way to finish off at the club.”

Dublin-born Paddy, who has worked for AFC Wimbledon since 2003 and spent three years with Kingstonian before that, will now be able to make extra time to indulge his passion for music. First up for Paddy is a trip back to his home city for a gig in honour of Aslan lead singer Christy Dignam, which will feature a host of Irish musical acts.

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