Mark O'Brien presented shirt

Prior to Newport County AFC's pre-season friendly against Bristol Rovers on Friday evening, Mark O'Brien was presented with a signed shirt by manager Michael Flynn.

O'Brien, who was forced to call time on his playing career in June before undergoing heart surgery, is continuing his rehabilitation and has spent time back at the club in recent weeks.

He took in one of the Exiles' pre-season sessions at Undy Athletic earlier this month before he joined the rest of the squad at Spytty Park ahead of the clash against Bristol Rovers.

County's backroom staff and squad, whilst maintaining social distancing, welcomed O'Brien, who wrote his name into Exiles folklore after scoring the famous goal to preserve the club's Sky Bet League Two status on the final day of the 2016/17 campaign, into the training ground before the game.

Michael Flynn paid tribute to the Irishman by highlighting the influence that O'Brien has had on the football club before he was presented with one of his playing shirts, which included special messages off the squad. 

Flynn said: "He’s honestly been a class act both on and off the pitch. He’s been a brilliant team-mate, brilliant to work with and it’s absolutely devastating what’s happened to him.

"The boys wanted to do something for him and wanted to present him with his shirt. There’s a couple of notes on there with messages from everyone at the club."

O'Brien added: "I'm lost for words and want to thank all the lads and everyone at the club for this signed shirt. I love you all."

The club will continue to do everything it can to support Mark during this difficult period.