Colin O’Keeffe may have stepped down as first team captain at the all-conquering Battersea Ironsides, but his voice will not stop being heard.

The 32-year-old held the armband for two of the most successful years in the club’s 72-history, culminating in last season’s treble win and trip to Twickenham stadium.

Under his leadership, Ironsides won the Surrey One title and promotion to the London Leagues for the first time.

They also reached the semi-final of the National Junior Vase in 2014, and went one better this year to reach the Twickenham final and claim the silver.

The following day, Ironsides claimed the Surrey Shield, beating rivals Camberley 26-20, to seal the treble.

O’Keeffe has handed the reins to Marcus Bailey, last season’s vice captain, but has stepped up to club captain.

He said: “For someone who is as passionate about the sport and the club as me, it can become all consuming.

“I probably gave it as much energy as I could because I love the job, but I could not give much more for a prolonged period – it’s a case of mission accomplished for me.

“I set myself and the lads clear targets – to get the club into upper echelons of rugby being the number one priority, and we did that.”

He added: “I’ve been elevated to club captain, so I supporting the captains of the first, second, third and fourth.

"But ultimately it’s time to let someone else take the first team further.”

While playing at Twickenham was a career highlight for O’Keeffe, who joined Ironsides as a player in 2012, it was the moment the side booked their place at rugby HQ that will live long in the memory.

“When we beat Longlevens in the semi-final, the realisation that we were going to Twickenham got me a bit teary,” he said.

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“It almost righted the wrong of the previous season. We knew we’d thrown it away the previous season, so knowing we were actually going to Twickenham was a massive achievement.”

O’Keeffe may have presided over unlimited success, but he is quick to acknowledge the help of others.

He said: “They are the best group of players I have ever played with. They balance the need for competitive rugby with the social aspect.

“For some clubs, going up the leagues would be a challenge in terms of the long-distance travelling.

“For us it is an absolute thrill because there are more away bus trips, which means we can go on the lash more.”

He added: “I was a face of the team, but there so many people across the coaching staff including Alex Hadley, Mick Walsh and David Holtom – coaches, management and medical team.

“They all deserve a mention.”

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Team work: Battersea Ironsides coach Alex Hadley, left, with Colin O'Keeffe