Russell Martin leaves Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Russell Martin has been released by Norwich City on transfer deadline day.
The long-serving former club captain's departure was formally announced on Friday afternoon - ending his nine-year association with the Canaries.
'It's not been easy for anyone, this situation I've been in,' said Martin. 'I'm a football player and I really want to play football. I wish I was just comfortable sitting there and picking up my wages at the end of the month, but it's not what I'm about.
'I'm desperate to play football again. I really appreciate the fact that the club and I have agreed to do it, basically because it means I'm free to go and play football somewhere and start again. I still feel there's a few years left in me yet.
'It's not been an easy decision at all to end my attachment with this football club. Everyone knows how I feel about it, but it's come about and as I said, I appreciate the way the club has dealt with it and me. I guess it is time to move on.
'I've been honoured and privileged to play for this football club. I've loved it. The last year hasn't been ideal and it hasn't ended as how I would have wanted it to. But I'll always care for this football club and the people involved with it. For me and my family, it's been a huge part of my life. It will always be my football club now.'
The club plan to invite Martin back for a future league game to make a presentation and give fans the chance to say goodbye.
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Martin was signed by former City boss Paul Lambert, initially on loan, from Peterborough United in November 2009 before the deal being made permanent two months later.
Majority shareholder, Delia Smith, speaking to the club's official site said: 'We have wonderful memories from Russell's time here because he was a great captain, player and a lovely man.
'He's all-round lovely person and he's very talented. He will be a manager one day because he's just the right person to be a manager.
'We want to wish him all the best and we are very sad that he's not going to be here anymore.'
Martin was part of the squad who achieved back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League and captained the Canaries to victory in 2015 Championship play-off final.
The Scottish international made 309 appearances in all competitions, to put him 22nd in the all-time list.
Sporting director, Stuart Webber, said: 'We've been in discussion constantly over the summer and we felt this was best for all parties and especially in this case, for Russell.
'Once the window closes, he's unable to then go out on loan to anyone so it was done to free him up to go and sign for someone else.
'For what he's done for this club, it's only right we did that for him. Russell will be sorely missed by staff and players and supporters. He's been an unbelievable ambassador for, for what the club is all about.'