Everton captain Leighton Baines has said a heartfelt thank you to Everton fans following his retirement after 13 years at the club.
Baines joined from Wigan in 2007 and has been a vital part of the Blues’ misadventures throughout that time.
A rambunctious left back with a left foot that seemed to have the midas touch, Baines embodied what it is to be an Evertonian.
In his last season, although his appearances were limited, he still found a way to remind us of what made Everton fans fall in love with Baines.
In a League Cup tie against Leicester, Baines picked the ball up in the last minute. Goodison held its breath before he unleashed his furious left foot and dragged Everton into extra time with a thunderous strike. For one of only a few times this season, Goodison erupted.
That was the last time football will experience Leighton Baines in full flow, and his retirement has led to more than a few tears shed on Merseyside.
In a heartfelt message to Everton fans, Baines wrote…
“I am incredibly proud to have represented Everton for the past 13 years and my decision to retire has been a difficult one to make.
After speaking to my family, I feel now is the right time to end my playing career but I do so with many great memories at this proud football club.
As someone from the city, Everton means so much to me and it has been an honour to be part of the Club for so long.
I would like to thank everyone who has supported me during my time at Everton, especially the fans who have been fantastic with me from the moment I signed.
Take care and thanks again,