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Thursday, December 1, 2011

From Shallots to Shalom: Goodbye to Onions as both sides part on good terms

With a name like Onions, every headline writer wants a slice of the action. For four years, most of the headlines at Guisborough have focused on Onions’ goals. This was never truer than last season when David Onions embarked on a scoring spree which included three consecutive hat-tricks – a remarkable feat at any level of the game. His thirty-seven goals last season were instrumental in propelling the club to promotion. Onions’ goalscoring feats did not go unnoticed. His nickname – ‘DO’ - was a reference to his initials but the Wakefield Post took an interesting slant on this, referring to him as the ‘Dangerous One’ as he posed a constant threat in our cup clash with the West Yorkshire outfit.

Onions is a Guisborough lad and not just popular for his goals. As team captain he urged the side on and his never say die attitude spurred the team on to secure draws when defeat looked likely and to steal three points when many sides would have settled for just one.

All players thrive on confidence, but especially goalscorers. This is especially true of DO and with the anticipation and excitement of a new season in a different division approaching, it was crucial that last year’s top scorer hit the ground running. Onions certainly hit the ground but not in the way intended. In a pre-season game against Consett he twisted under a heavy challenge and injured knee ligaments, missing the first month of the season.

There was never any questioning DO’s commitment when he returned, but the sharpness of last year only seemed to be present in patches. His announcement that it was time to move on to pastures new was naturally disappointing, but perhaps understandable.
Perhaps the most poignant and refreshing aspect of DO’s departure was the manner in which he left. No fit of pique, no unnecessary slagging off of the club or players, no side swipes or stinging words aimed at individuals. In fact, quite the reverse. Onions praised a club he loves, stating that it has been the most enjoyable four years of his time playing the game. Some of the so-called professionals of the world – Joey Barton chief amongst them – might want to take a long hard look and learn something.

My abiding memory of DO will be his lion-like roar as he lifted the North Riding Senior Cup last year after his goal was enough to brush local rivals Marske aside. The goal itself was a collector’s item as Onions used his head to nod Guisborough into the lead. It is not so rare for Onions to use his head in a less literal sense; his intelligent, well-considered points upon leaving the club attracted even greater respect. I’m leaving with great memories and a list of true friends - which is why we play the game in the first place Onions noted. You can’t say fairer than that. Wise words from the old sage that is Onions.

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