Grant Leadbitter has written the following message to the Boro supporters as his move to Sunderland is confirmed...
I couldn’t leave Middlesbrough Football Club without saying my heartfelt thanks to everyone for what has been such a wonderful and memorable part of my career.
When I joined in 2012 I could never have dreamt of having a such a good relationship with the fans, and the welcome you gave me and your support over the years has been amazing.
I can’t thank Tony Mowbray enough for signing me in the first place, Aitor and Leo for what they brought to the club and achieved, and Steve Agnew, who was absolutely fantastic to work with.
It’s impossible to mention everyone by name, but from the fans to the boardroom, and from the staff around the club to the many team-mates I’ve been with in the dressing room, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for making the last six-and-a-half years so memorable.
Captaining the promotion winning side in 2015/16 was undoubtedly the high point, and even now I can’t express how proud I am to say that, especially when you think back to Monday 25th May 2015 and the horrible low feeling of emptiness after losing to Norwich at Wembley in the Play-Off final.
The Premier League season didn’t go how any of us would have wanted, I felt particularly helpless during the time of my injury. To have worked so hard along with team mates to help this club get back to the Premier League, and to fail was tough to take.
Relegation was hard to take, as was losing in the Play-Off semi-finals last season, and I can’t deny that this season has been tough for me personally, but I always set myself high standards and continued to work hard everyday. But I will leave here with nothing but happy memories from a club that I have enjoyed being a part of.
A new challenge is now awaiting for me, I could not live with the regret of turning down this opportunity at Sunderland Football Club and I’d like to thank Steve Gibson and Neil Bausor for their support in making his happen.
Thank you one and all for the memories. You have a great football club with some special people working there.
It’s been a privilege.