A WEST Oxfordshire club showed incredible character to win an historic quadruple as they grieved the death of a much-loved teammate.

Hailey were rocked by the tragic passing of star midfielder Devon Wright in March, which left the first team debating whether to continue a promising season.

But the Witney & District Premier Division outfit carried on playing, determined to win silverware for the popular 22-year-old – and they paid tribute in style.

Hailey clinched the league title, the John Fathers Junior Shield, the Fred Ford Cup and the Ted Young Senior Cup, while they lost the Oxfordshire Charity Cup final to Yarnton.

They were the first team to win those four trophies in the same season since 1964 and, as manager Dan Hill explained, they ‘did it for Dev’.

The first-team boss said: “He was such a massive player for us, as well as a mate and a great person.

“He was having the season of his life – he was definitely in line to be player of the year.

“It rocked the group a lot, but it brought everyone together.

“Without the boys being so close, I don’t think we’d have carried on and won the trophies we did.”

Oxford Mail: Hailey dedicated their successful season to former teammate Devon Wright Picture: Dan Hill

Devon Wright

Wright was found dead on the eastbound carriageway of the A40, near Witney, in the early hours of Friday, March 18.

It has been a horrific time for his loved ones and the feeling is still raw.

Hill, 36, said: “I didn’t know if I’d be able to continue running the side.

“Without these lads I don’t think I’d have carried on. They looked after me as much as I looked after them.

“We stuck together the week after his death and when the time was right I sat down with the boys.

“We all wanted to carry on and win them for Dev.

“Writing the team sheet for the first game back and not putting his name on was hard. It still is now.”

Hailey lost just one of their remaining Premier Division games and Wright’s family supported them all the way.

The midfielder’s father, Paul, joined captain Jack Wood in lifting the Junior Shield after thrashing Bicester Athletic 7-2 in the final.

Hill said: “The support Dev’s family have given the boys and me – I don’t know how they do it.

“I don’t think I could be half as strong as they’ve been.

“They’ve been to every game to make sure the boys are okay, we’ve even had barbecues round Dev’s mum’s. They’ve been a massive help.”

Hailey are embarking on a mental health drive and will invite professionals to speak to players, with other teams invited to join in.

And the club’s reaction to the tragedy has been a source of comfort to Wright’s family.

Aunt Toni Davies said: “He was a lovely lad, well liked – no words can express how we feel.

“I know his Dad found great comfort in the football and the memories shared in the programme.

“Everyone has been so supportive of the family, that’s what football can do.

“They’re such a lovely group. Dev would have loved it.”