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Saturday 24 August 2019

Wes Hoolahan pens emotional open letter after announcing he will leave Norwich at the end of the season

Wes Hoolahan. Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images
Wes Hoolahan. Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images Newsdesk Newsdesk

Former Republic of Ireland international Wes Hoolahan has announced that he will leave Norwich at the end of the season after a decade with the Canaries.

The 35-year-old will be given a special send-off before and after Norwich's final games of the season against Leeds United on Saturday.

The Dubliner made 351 appearances in all competitions for City since joining from Blackpool in July 2008, scoring 53 goals.

Four of the 10 years he had at Carrow Road were spent in the Premier League and Hoolahan starred under seven different managers: Glenn Roeder, Bryan Gunn, Paul Lambert, Chris Hughton, Neil Adams, Alex Neil and current boss Daniel Farke.

He played a pivotal role in the back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League under Paul Lambert between 2009 and 2011, flourishing after the Scot placed him in a central attacking role at the point of a midfield diamond. His performances during this period helped to earn him the honour of being inducted into Norwich City’s Hall of Fame in 2012.

In an open letter to the Norwich fans, he wrote: "It’s been a great ten years. I've thoroughly enjoyed myself at this club and it’s going to be an emotional day on Saturday against Leeds. I’m looking forward to it and I've got a lot of family coming over and hopefully they will enjoy the day out and hopefully we'll get the win as well.

"I spoke to my family last week and it will be great to have them over. I just want then to enjoy it because they can't wait. My ten years have been brilliant, with a lot of ups and downs. To get promoted three times and to have played in the Premier League for four years means that Saturday is going to be an amazing day for everybody involved.

"For the last ten years, the fans have been amazing with me. Every time I've come off the pitch or come on from the bench they've always roared me on. I've really enjoyed the experience we’ve had with them. Hopefully it will be one last great day for the fans on Saturday and everyone will enjoy it.

"There are a couple of moments that really stand out for me. Against Portsmouth, when Simeon Jackson got us the goal to take us to the Premier League, with David Fox whipping a great ball into the box - it was just brilliant to see the ball go in to win the game.

"And Wembley. To play in a game of that magnitude and to have all eleven players on the pitch play their best games in such a complete performance as we won was amazing. It was really enjoyable, and what a great day out it was for the fans too. It had been a tough season before, having been relegated, so to see so many there in such huge numbers was amazing.

"On Saturday, the most important thing is to win the game by putting in a good performance. I'd love to score against Leeds to finish it off on a high but it would make the day a lot better if we won. It would be great to go out on a high with a home win for the fans.

"It will be strange to leave this club after ten great years but you have to move on. The fans have been amazing to me, the club have been great and I’m going to miss the place. I just want to say to the fans 'thanks for the support', because they've been amazing.

"Even through the downs, they've always turned out. In my first year here we were relegated but then you'd walk out into a League One game in front of 26,000 fans. It's  one of the best clubs in the country and the support is always brilliant.

"It’s been amazing. Sometimes you don't think the day will come where you leave, but the time has come and I look forward to the next challenge. It goes by so quickly. The first day I came here I was training under Glenn Roeder, and now it's with Daniel Farke.

"Time flies, but I've enjoyed every moment of it. See you on Saturday."

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