Grant Leadbitter's passionate message of thanks to Sunderland fans - and his new season vow
Grant Leadbitter has messaged a passionate message of thanks to Sunderland supporters – while vowing to come back ‘stronger and better’ next season.
The Black Cats’ midfielder starred in the side’s League One run-in after joining from Middlesbrough in January - featuring in the play-off semi-final before the heartbreaking late defeat to Charlton Athletic at Wembley.
But Leadbitter’s performances in those two games were made even more remarkable given he had lost his mother just one day before the second leg of the semi-final at Portsmouth.
An outpouring of support was forthcoming from the Sunderland faithful, and Leadbitter has now paid thanks to the club’s fans for their kind words to both him and his family.
And while admitting the defeat to the Addicks still hurt, he vowed that he would do everything to come back ‘stronger and better’ ahead of the new campaign – which begins on August 3 against Oxford United.
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In a post on his Instagram page, the midfielder said: “I just wanted to say a big thank you for all the support and messages Myself and sisters have received over the past couple of months during a tough family period.
“The season didn’t end the way we all wanted, it hurt and will continue to hurt but we have to use it to come back stronger going into pre season to succeed.
“As the saying goes, you get knocked down, you learn and get back up stronger and better.”
Leadbitter will be back at the Academy of Light with his Sunderland teammates this week as pre-season training begins.