Stephen Ramsey’s 11-year association with South Shields has come to an end after the striker joined Northern League side Whitley Bay.
Ramsey, who was the club’s longest-serving player, played as a trialist for the Bay in a friendly against Bedlington Terriers on Tuesday, scoring twice in a 7-2 win. He signed for the club after that game.
Popular Ramsey, who turns 29 today, leaves Mariners Park with the best wishes of everyone at the club.
He made 311 appearances for the Mariners, scoring 85 times and winning seven trophies along the way.
Last July, a testimonial was held in Ramsey’s honour at Mariners Park against a Sunderland AFC XI as his superb service was recognised.
The last of his appearances for the club came in a dramatic 2-1 win at Sunderland RCA in March 2017, when he suffered a broken leg in the closing stages as he put his body on the line for the cause.
He recovered from that injury last season, but was unable to break back into the Mariners’ team and has now left in search of more regular first-team football.
South Shields joint manager Lee Picton has paid tribute to a “fantastic player and fantastic person”.
He said: “Stephen has been an incredible servant to the club during his time here, and an absolute pleasure to be around.
“We had his testimonial this time last year and unfortunately, due to the leg break he suffered at the back end of our final season in the Northern League, he struggled to gain the fitness needed to feature for us last season.
“We sat down with Stephen and talked about his future, and said we felt it would be tough for him to get the game time he is looking for.
“He was out of the game for a long time with his injury, but he regularly came in and supported the lads on matchdays last season and continued to train with us once he was able to after his leg break.
“He has been a great person to have around the club generally.
“Myself, Graham and I’m sure everyone at the club would like to thank Stephen for his commitment and efforts.
“Whitley Bay have got a fantastic player and fantastic person who I am sure will be a great asset to their club.
“We wish Stephen all the very best there and for the future in general.”