Norwich City confirm Wes Hoolahan exit

Wes Hoolahan is preparing for his final Norwich City game this weekend. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Foc

Wes Hoolahan is preparing for his final Norwich City game this weekend. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Wes Hoolahan will leave Norwich City at the end of the season - with Saturday's Championship game against Leeds United his final appearance for the club.

The club's longest-serving player will depart after nearly 10 years of service at Carrow Road following the announcement from the Canaries on Monday afternoon.

Hoolahan will be afforded a special send off in Saturday's Championship game against Leeds United - which will be his last for the club.

City have also confirmed a testimonial will take place within the next 12 months.

Hoolahan has made 351 appearances for the club, scoring 53 goals, and is currently 17th on the all-time appearance list.

The 35-year-old was crowned player-of-the-year last season in recognition of his achievements that included three promotions and four seasons in the Premier League, since signing from Blackpool for a reported £250,000 in June 2008.

'It's been a great 10 years at this club,' he said. 'The fans have been amazing to me, the club have been great and I'm going to miss the place.

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'I've thoroughly enjoyed myself at Norwich City and it's going to be an emotional day on Saturday against Leeds. I just want to say to the fans thanks for the support, you've been amazing throughout my whole time here.

'I'm looking forward to my next challenge, and to organising a testimonial for next year. I've had a brilliant time.'

City's sporting director Stuart Webber added: 'It was a really difficult decision. What he's done for the club, both on and off the pitch, is immense. It's always difficult especially when it's an end of an era for somebody and I'm just glad he's going to get the send-off he deserves, and he's been granted a testimonial which is great.

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'No one should underestimate what an achievement it's been being at a club of this size for ten years. We should never take that for granted – it's a massive achievement for him to have stayed fit and to have stayed at this level for as long as he has.

'He's a player we should all celebrate. If you like football, then you like Wes Hoolahan.'

Head Coach Daniel Farke, speaking to the official site, added: 'I feel really blessed and thankful to have been his coach. It's been a big pleasure to work with Wes, not only because of his ability but also because of his personality and character.

'I've made it clear before just how much I would have appreciated working with him when he was 26, because he's an unbelievable player.

'He's a club legend already, and we know he will be even more of a legend in the future.'

The Irish talisman had the distinction of scoring Norwich's first top flight goal back in the big time when he notched at Wigan in a 1-1 Premier League draw on the opening day of the 2011/12 season.

Hoolahan's consistent displays in the green and yellow eventually brought international recognition for the Republic of Ireland.

The Dubliner, who started his career at Shelbourne before linking up with Paul Lambert first at Livingston and later in Norfolk, scored three goals in 43 internationals and memorably lit up Euro 2016 with a goal and man-of-the-match display in the opening group game against Sweden at the Stade de France.

Hoolahan also provided the assist for former club mate Robbie Brady to beat the Italians and quality for the last-16 where they went out to the hosts France.

• Leave your tributes to Wes below and we will use the best ones in print on Tuesday

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