IT ONLY takes a quick glance at the numbers to realise how special Kevin Cawley has been for Alloa.

Signed by Paul Hartley for the club 10 years ago this week, Cawley broke the club's all-time appearance record in January this year against Cove Rangers, overtaking Bobby Gray's 359 games which includes 66 goals.

A committed professional, Cawley featured in all but one game throughout the 2020-21 season.

Hartley knew Cawley as a young boy from his time at Celtic and was delighted to bring him to the club.

Remembering a player with plenty of ability, he said: "He was a terrific signing for me. I always knew he'd be a good player; I knew his ability, his enthusiasm and his energy was first class. He's a great team player, not a selfish player.

"[He] always trained, never missed games, always reliable. He's always played [for the other managers since Hartley left] because they know what they're getting from him. He's always reliable, great to work with. Great personality, good boy in the changing room, he's a winner, I loved working with him.

"It's great he's still going strong, he looks about 21 still, he doesn't look his age. He's still got that energy and that youthfulness, and that face – he still looks young!

"He could play for a number of years, he's been a brilliant servant to Alloa. I really can't speak highly enough of him."

Steven Hetherington, who recently departed Alloa to join Falkirk, played with Cawley for a number of years.

Speaking of his former teammate and future league rival, the Englishman said: "[He's a] great fella, got a lot of time for him. He's the type of guy that you meet through football that you would go out your way for. People come and go that you get on with who are teammates rather than actual mates but Kev's a good mate.

"Brilliant from the get-go, he's so easy to get along with, which I think goes into his play. He demands high standards, he's a top, top player. He's such a hard-working player too, someone you really appreciate.

"He's always fit, you don't realise how good he is and how important he is until he's not playing.

"He's been a great servant to the club, he's had a lot of success. He's been right through the divisions. He's a top player and a top lad too."

That sentiment was echoed by Peter Grant who was Cawley's manager from 2019 until 2021 and saw him break the club's appearance record in January this year.

Grant said: "Over the period I was there, he was a terrific player for me. He's a terrific kid and it was a joy and a pleasure to work with him.

"Kevin was a magnificent professional. He's got an affinity with Alloa and I was delighted to be a part of his [journey].

"Kevin was always there, in all my time there he maybe missed one or two training sessions, and that's maximum, I'd struggle to even find them. That's a testament to his commitment.

"He was a great player for me, it was a joy and a pleasure to work with him and I really enjoyed it.

"His commitment to me and the team was excellent, and that's why I'll always appreciate the job he done for me."

Club captain Andy Graham has spent his Alloa career with 'the wee man' in his team and spent a pre-season with him at Dumbarton.

"He's been different class since the day I got here," Graham said. "His attitude to everything is brilliant; the way he looks after himself off the pitch.

"He's one of the most unassuming people that you'll meet. He's not big-headed – listen, the guy's made the record number appearances for Alloa and you wouldn't know it.

"I can't talk highly enough of him and as a person off the pitch, in the dressing room he's brilliant, he's a funny wee guy.

"He deserves all the plaudits he gets for the quality he's brought to Alloa."

In football, especially in the modern game, the word legend gets thrown around more often than it should. There's no doubting Cawley will go down as one of the all-time greats of this club.

Longevity, commitment and consistency are great indicators of how good a player truly is and Cawley certain has all three and more in abundance.

Speaking to Advertiser Sport weeks before a new manager was announced, or even close to being announced, Cawley confirmed he had signed on with the club for another season and was ready to get the club back into the Championship.

"Of course I've signed on," he said. "I'm Alloa until I die.