17 seasons, 372 league appearances, eight goals and having dragged his side to the unlikeliest of European finishes, Bohemians and League of Ireland legend Derek Pender bowed out of the game in true “Detser” fashion with an all-action performance. T17 seasons, 372 league appearances, eight goals and having dragged his side to the unlikeliest of European finishes, Bohemians and League of Ireland legend Derek Pender bowed out of the game in true “Detser” fashion with an all-action performance. The Gypsies came from behind to win for the first time this season, winning 2-1 in front of a packed crowd of 3,421. The Man of the Match, Pender struck a coolly taken penalty past Luke McNicholas to help his side to three points and an incredible third place finish. Speaking after the game, the Bohs skipper wasn’t shy in mincing his words with the first half performance, as his side found themselves one down to a Daryl Fordyce strike, saying: “The first half wasn’t good enough, I was fuming to be honest with you. "It was very flat and was like we let the occasion get to us and I didn’t want that. I didn’t want it to distract us from the game but delighted with the second half, coming back and finishing third, so it was great in the end.” On what the next chapter may hold, the Gypsie legend gave an indication of what may be next. “I don’t think it’s sinking in to be honest, it’s been overwhelming the support I got this week, been a bit of a mad! "I don’t know what it’s going to be like not playing football, but I will certainly be busy with the two kids at home and hopefully stay with Keith (Long) and around the club," an understandably emotional Pender mentioned. As Pender stood over the ball from 12 yards out the tension around Dalymount Park was palpable and would have taken someone with a heart of stone to wish against the eventual outcome. Football has a way, and the power, to write its own fairytales and this was a perfect way to book-end a fabulous career, but it wasn’t as straight forward as most spot kicks. Pender added, ”I had a feeling I’d score, and had been saying it all week that if we got one, I’d take the peno and delighted to score the winner, so happy days! "As I was running up, the ref stopped me so I was then thinking do I change my mind or what do I do, so I said to myself no, stay with the same corner and luckily it went in!” Chants of “one more year” were fully justified as the 35-year-old put in a rock solid performance in defence and got the crowning glory with the winner and deserves all the plaudits that continue to come his way. But as we say goodbye to a genuine League of Ireland legend and the 2018/19 season, there’s always next season just around the corner and the chance for new players to follow in “Detsers” footsteps and make themselves legends in #TheGreatestLeagueintheWorld.
League of Ireland