Captain Clarke leaves Leyton Orient
PUBLISHED: 14:52 24 July 2015 | UPDATED: 14:52 24 July 2015
Simon O'Connor Photography
Defender heads home to be with family
Leyton Orient have been rocked by the decision of captain Nathan Clarke to leave the club to be with his family.
Centre-back Clarke released an emotional statement on the club’s website, with the new League Two season just two weeks away.
It said: “I would like to start by saying how proud I have been, being captain of this football club. I have played with the best group of lads in my time here and made some true friends and some great memories!
“In my time here I have had unbelievable support from the fans and I hope they could see I gave everything for the team.
“This is why this decision has not been easy, but for the past three years while playing here, I have been away from my young family. My wife and two girls have been so supportive in this time, but I feel living apart has become too hard!
“I have on many occasions put the club before my families happiness and that should never happen. I have made the decision to leave and move back north to be at home with my family.
“I would like to thank everyone associated with Leyton Orient and I will always be a fan!
“I would also like to thank the manager for understanding my reasons and supporting me.
“I hope everyone understands my reasons and I wish the club every success in the up-coming season.”
Clarke signed for O’s in 2012 from Huddersfield, having played over 300 games for the Terriers and winning their player of the year award in 2005.
He was installed as captain at Orient and in a three-year spell made 135 appearances, netting twice.
The news will certainly come as a blow to new boss Ian Hendon as he loses a loyal servant on the eve of the campaign.
Orient are due to visit Colchester for a pre-season friendly tomorrow and Woking on Tuesday and begin their League Two season against Barnet at Brisbane Road on August 8.