Noel Blackwell might have hung up his boots during the mid-1990s after a long association with Stevenage Borough that stretched back seven-or-so years, but that wouldn’t be the end of the tale. We’ll come back to that in a moment, however…
Blackwell joined Boro’ in 1989 from the now-defunct Vauxhall Motors (Luton). It’s fair to say he became a smash hit too. A dominant defender with a number of appearances behind him, he went on to experience far more highs than lows during his time as a player with us.
Helping the club to rebuild after its relegation in 1988, Blackwell was part of the team that ascended the pyramid and into the Conference in 1994. Not only that, but he won Players’ and Supporters’ Players titles while at the club too.
So, the reason why his retirement wasn’t the end of the tale? Well, that all comes down to the fact that Blackwell continued to work for the club; first as coach under Paul Fairclough and then as his assistant, before taking on the caretaker manager mantle in 1998.