READING FOOTBALL CLUB will remember former academy coach Eamonn Dolan by renaming the North Stand at the Madejski Stadium after him.
The 48-year-old, brother of ex-League of Ireland manager Pat Dolan, was battling cancer and had received surgery to remove a tumour from his bladder when he passed away last month.
Galway-born Dolan, whose own playing career was cut short when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1993, arrived at the Royals in 2004 and made an enormous impact at the club.
He even managed the senior team briefly after the sacking of Brian McDermott in 2013.
In a statement released today, the Championship side has revealed, on the day of his funeral, that it will pay tribute to “an undispute club hero” by renaming the stand in his honour.
“A little more than a month ago, we asked our supporters for their suggestions on what we should rename the North Stand at Madejski Stadium,” it reads.
“Naturally, a wide range of nominations were put forward, including a number of former players and managers – from eras past and present.
“However, the tragic news of Eamonn Dolan’s passing last month sparked an overwhelming and emotional call from our fans to name the North Stand after a man who not only helped Reading Football Club achieve unparalleled success during 12 memorable years at Madejski Stadium, but who has left an indelible legacy which will last long into this club’s future.
So today, as many mourn the loss of a true Royals legend at Eamonn’s funeral, Reading Football Club stands together to honour him and celebrate all he did for our club.
“The Eamonn Dolan Stand will officially open on Saturday 6 August 2016 when Reading host Preston North End on the opening day of the brand new season.”
Reading shareholder Sumrith ‘Tiger’ Thanakarnjanasuth added: “Every time I travelled to Reading, I made sure I met and spoke with Eamonn – both before his diagnosis and during his treatment – and I always looked forward to hearing him speak so positively, so enthusiastically about Reading Football Club and its bright, bright future.
“Personally reading our fans’ messages of love for Eamonn and sincere appreciation for all the work he did during his time in charge of our Academy, it was clear there was only one fitting option for the North Stand’s new name. The Eamonn Dolan Stand will be our way of remembering a great man.”
The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add!