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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ex-QPR Mark Devlin on Leaving Swindon and on Continue to Recuperate From The Crash

Swindon Advertiser - Humour Easing the Pain - By Jon Ritson
MARK Devlin faces another painful operation to remove pins from his back, but six months on from the accident that almost claimed his life he is at least grateful that he's made a round easier for golfers at the crash site!
Town's now former chief executive says a sense of humour is part of the healing process, that and the tremendous level of good wishes and support he continues to enjoy from the Town faithful.
He said: "I've another operation coming up to remove the pins but thankfully I think all of us (involved in the crash) are making recoveries.
"I was looking forward to getting back to playing five-a-side football with friends on a Monday night but the op will put that back for a while sadly."
When Bill Power spoke for the first time about the plane crash of August 5, he said one of the factors in helping him through a terribly dark time was the messages of support from Town fans, many of whom he had never met and didn't know.
Devlin feels exactly the same way.
He said: "Inevitably there are moments where you think why us?' but the messages, the cards and the like really help.
"Like Bill said, I think the level of support shown by fans has been overwhelming and I'll always be incredibly grateful for that."
Coming within a fraction of death is no laughing matter but Devlin hopes members at the golf club which hosted' the crash will at least be grateful.
He said: "The air crash investigation people said we can probably thank an oak tree for our survival.
"The plane hit the tree before hitting the ground so obviously the tree absorbed the initial impact. Had the plane gone straight into the ground, well, I think it would have been different.
"Still I'd like to think the people at the golf club would be erecting a statue of Bill, Stan, myself and Mike to say thanks for removing that tree and making that hole easier to conquer!"...." Swindon Advertiser

Swindon Advertiser- SWINDON TOWN: MARK DEVLIN ‘I’m moving on’By Jon Ritson
MARK Devlin insists his County Ground exit has not left him bitter and says there is there is nothing quite like dicing with death to fix your focus on the future and help draw a line under the past.
The club's former chief executive (left) is now seeking a fresh challenge after resigning his County Ground post yesterday.
Devlin has not been at his desk since sustaining life-threatening injuries in an August plane crash which also saw son Stan, Bill Power and Mike Sullivan seriously injured.
Relations with the board then turned increasingly sour with claims of a £750,000 overspend and the club claiming disciplinary' proceedings would follow.
However, employee and club now appear to have parted company in relatively amicable fashion and Devlin is anxious not to dwell on the past.
He said: "It is time to draw a line in the sand and it is time to move on. You can't look back and be bitter. There are other opportunities which I'm looking at and we'll see what happens."
advertisementWhatever the future may hold for Devlin, he has nothing but good wishes for the club he leaves behind.
He said: "I'd like to think I've helped in building a platform for the future.
"I would love nothing more to see this season end with a promotion back to League One."
Devlin first arrived at the County Ground in June 2002 and laid out his three-year vision for Town to become a top 30 club.
That never quite materialised but the outgoing chief executive believes he made a difference and a difference he can be proud of.
One of the first things he did was replace the club's ancient lawnmower while also beginning the task of repairing the communication links with an alienated fan base and business community.
Devlin said: "Ah, the lawnmower. Well you have to start somewhere.
"As for the fans, I'd like to think that one of the things I achieved (in a two-stint spell at the County Ground) was to communicate with the fans, even though it wasn't always going to be what they wanted to hear."
As he continues the fight for full fitness, Devlin said the plane crash had changed his outlook on life.
He said: "The crash did bring a few things home to me.
"I think you begin to really appreciate what is really important.
"There are other opportunities presenting themselves and I'd like to explore them.
"But as I've said, I wish the club all the best for the future and hope players and supporters can enjoy some success." Swindon Advertiser

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