Long serving and popular member of the Linfield backroom staff Andy Kerr MBE has advised the club of his intention to step down from the role he has fulfilled for over 53 years behind the scenes at Windsor Park.
Andy has served under a total of 14 Linfield managers and he has been on numerous trips across Europe with the club, since his first to East Berlin at the height of the Cold War in 1962.
He is the brother of former chairman Jim Kerr and the Portglenone man holds the titles of Vice-president and Honorary Life member of the club he has served selflessly and faithfully for more than 5 decades.
In 2017, to coincide with his 50th anniversary of service at the club, a special Tribute night in his honour was arranged at Jumna Street social club, attended by over 200 supporters and current and former club personnel.
A few months later, he was awarded the club's Merit award at the annual awards presentation evening at the Crowne plaza hotel in South Belfast. A few days previously he received a similar accolade from the NIFWA.
Andy was a faithful supporter of the club's Academy teams and he was a frequent traveller on some of their trips outside Northern Ireland.
Humble, modest, unassuming and never one for the limelight, Andy was one of the men behind the scenes who made Linfield tick and he was held in the highest esteem by every player and staff member who passed through our changing rooms.
If ever a man earned the title ‘Mr Linfield’, it was Andy Kerr MBE and his well deserved retirement after a lifetime of service really is the end of an era and it follows on the heels of the retirement of another faithful servant from the backroom staff, Kenny McKeague.
Men of the calibre of Andy Kerr MBE, Kenny McKeague and others before them, were institutions at The Park and club chairman Roy McGivern paid the following tribute to the retiring Andy Kerr.
“I cannot speak highly enough of Andy Kerr MBE and the enormous contribution he has made to Linfield Football Club over more than 50 years of service. Andy has given a lifetime of service to the club and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude. He was rightly awarded with the club’s Merit Award to mark his 50 years of service and it was appropriate that the NI Football Writers’ also honoured him at their annual awards dinner.
He will be greatly missed around the club and was always a friendly face on match days or training nights. I hope he enjoys some more free time to pursue other interests but there will always be a warm welcome for Andy at Windsor Park and we look forward to seeing him back at the club during the season ahead."
Team manager David Healy MBE added the following tribute.
"I want to thank Andy Kerr MBE for the lifetime of service he has given to this club. He is a huge part of the history of this club and he will always be fondly remembered by everyone who knows the contribution he has made to the success and well being of this club over many years.
The length of time he has devoted to this club is quite incredible and I am one of many who love to hear the stories he has to tell about the characters, the trips and the successes that he has been associated with over the years.
While we will all miss him, he has more than earned his retirement and he knows he will always be welcome back in our dressing room at any time."
One man who has worked closely with Andy Kerr MBE in the backroom staff for over 30 years, is popular kit manager Gary Eccles and he offered the following, by way of tribute to his close and dear colleague.
"Andy Kerr MBE has been a wonderful friend to me since the day I arrived at Windsor Park. I have the utmost respect for him and would trust him with my life. He had 2 loves in his life - his beautiful wife Jenny, and Linfield.
He has been a fantastic servant of this club and in my earliest years at this club, I learnt so much from him. He taught you and brought you up in the Linfield way.
I really will miss him about the changing rooms and ground on training nights and match days, as we have shared so much over the years. I have wonderful memories that I will always treasure.
He knows he is welcome in our dressing room, if he's back up at Windsor for a match and with firstly Kenny McKeague retiring, and now Andy Kerr, it really is the end of an era. They are 2 wonderful men and terrific stalwarts of this club.
Every player, manager and staff member who has been at this club in the past 50 years will tell you that Andy is held in the highest regard and I just want to wish him a happy retirement. His heart will always be with us on every match day and he will always be a fervent supporter of every single Linfield team, including the Academy sides he took such a keen and genuine interest in."