'Looking forward to the new chapter' - Sunderland favourite Craig Russell announces his time with club has ended
Ex-Sunderland forward Craig Russell has announced his 12-year spell at the club is over.
Russell, in a post on Twitter, confirmed his time as a sports therapist at the Academy of Light has ended and said while he was ‘sad’ to be going, he was looking forward to the next chapter.
Russell, 47, from South Shields, came up through the youth ranks at Sunderland and played more than 150 games for the first team between 1991 and 1997 before moving on to Manchester City.
He also played for St Johnstone, Carlisle United and Darlington during a 14-year playing career.
Russell then became a sports therapist and worked for Newcastle Falcons, Newcastle United and for the last 12 years, Sunderland AFC.
Russell posted a message on Twitter, which read: "500+ games, 12 years, 12 managers, 12 countries visited with Sunderland AFC.
"Worked with some brilliant people. Sad that my time has come to an end at the Academy of Light but looking forward to the new chapter that begins #SAFC”
Popular with players, managers, coaches and fans alike, there was a lot of reaction to Russell’s announcement, with people keen to pay their best wishes.
Former youth player and now Hartlepool United forward Luke Molyneux said: ‘Legend’, Coventry City forward and former Sunderland youngster Martyn Waghorn added: “All the best Russ’.
Fan Jon Hume tweeted: “So sad to see this. Good luck with what's next!” and @ballysafc posted: “Another legend leaves good luck in the future Russ!”
Neil Metcalfe added: “Gutted for you but you'll land on your feet, of that I have no doubt. All the best mate and excited to see what happens next.”