SOUTHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 09:  Grant Leadbitter of Sunderland celebrates scoring their second goal during the Coca-Cola Championship match between Southampton and Sunderland at St Marys Stadium on April 9, 2007 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 09: Grant Leadbitter of Sunderland celebrates scoring their second goal during the Coca-Cola Championship match between Southampton and Sunderland at St Marys Stadium on April 9, 2007 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

These are the emotional moments that explain why Sunderland fans love Grant Leadbitter as midfielder departs

Local lad Grant Leadbitter is set to leave Sunderland after his second spell on Wearside.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 5:52 pm

Leadbitter and Chris Maguire are among a group of seven senior players to have been released by Sunderland following last weekend’s defeat in the League One play-offs.

And supporters were quick to pay tribute to the Wearside-born academy graduate.

Indeed, many are keen to see the boyhood Sunderland fan remain at the club in some role moving forward.

The 35-year-old came through the ranks at the Stadium of Light and burst onto the first-team scene in 2006 under Mick McCarthy – delivering a number of priceless moments during the club’s time in the Premier League and Championship.

Leadbitter would later go on to represent Ipswich Town and Middlesbrough before joining the Black Cats in 2019.

But with his contract set to expire at the end of June, the midfielder will soon depart the club.

Here, we take a look at his best and most emotional moments in red and white.

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