Louis Storey has paid tribute to all involved with South Shields after leaving the club to join Hebburn Town.
Storey made the “difficult” decision to bring two-year spell at Mariners Park to an end on Friday when he completed a move to the Northern League Division One side.
The central defender or midfielder made 72 appearances for Shields and scored six goals.
After joining the Hornets, Storey said: “I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank everyone at South Shields FC.
“Since signing two years ago I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every minute of being a part of the football club and made some unbelievable memories.
“It was a difficult decision to leave the club after being involved in the success we have experienced in the last two seasons, and I have no doubt the club will go on and continue its success at the next level.
“It has been a absolute pleasure to work with the fantastic people who are involved right across the club.
“A special thanks to the top class playing squad and management team and the brilliant fans!
“I wish the club all the best in the future!”
Storey joined Shields in the summer of 2016 from Team Northumbria, having previously been with Newcastle United as a youngster.
He suffered a broken leg and ankle ligament damage during a game away to West Auckland in September 2016 but battled back to fitness and was back on the pitch towards the end of that season, helping the club win the Northern League, FA Vase, Northern League Cup and Durham Challenge Cup.
He was converted from central defence to central midfield during last season and played an important role in the club’s Evo-Stik North Division title win.
Everyone at Mariners Park would like to thank Louis for his superb efforts during the last two seasons and wishes him well for the future.
South Shields returned to the top of the Evo-Stik North Division after a five-star performance saw off the 10 men of Ossett Town on Tuesday.
The visitors were up against it from the start and, after Dillon Morse had headed Shields in front, their task was made even harder when striker Nicky Boshell was sent off for a foul on Julio Arca.
The Mariners pushed on from there, with Robert Briggs making it 2-0 from the penalty spot before Gavin Cogdon, Julio Arca and Louis Storey all netted in the second half to complete the job.
Hyde United’s draw at Bamber Bridge allowed Shields to climb back to the top of the league and strengthen their promotion bid.
They were on the front foot from the start against Ossett, and almost took the lead early on when Carl Finnigan’s effort was cleared off the line.
Jon Shaw headed wide from a Robert Briggs free-kick as Shields continued to probe, and their breakthrough arrived in the 14th minute as Arca’s cross from the right was headed in at the back post by Morse.
Boshell was sent off in the 21st minute for an awful challenge on Arca in the centre of the park, and there was no way back from there for Ossett.
It was soon 2-0 when, after Cogdon was fouled in the area, Briggs stepped up to rattle the penalty away and surely make the points safe.
Jamie Holmes and Storey went close before half-time, but a five-minute blitz in the second half ultimately added the gloss to the scoreline.
Cogdon scored Shields’ third as he tapped into an empty net following a fine move, with Darren Lough stroking the ball across the box for him.
Arca was soon in on the act, too, as he reacted quickest when a Briggs drive was parried to find the net.
And then it was Storey who completed the scoring as he diverted another Briggs shot from distance in via his head.
The Mariners could have made the scoreline even more convincing in the closing stages, but ultimately kept the ball and conserved some energy ahead of a hectic period.
They are next in action on Thursday when they travel to Workington in the quarter-finals of the League Cup.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell, Baxter, Lough, Shaw (Smith 63), Morse (Mason 71), Arca (c), Storey, Briggs, Cogdon, Finnigan (Richardson 34), Holmes. Subs not used: Woolston,
Goals: Morse (14), Briggs (pen 25), Cogdon (62), Arca (65), Storey (67).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.
South Shields returned to winning ways in style with a convincing 4-0 win over Ramsbottom United at Mariners Park on Saturday.
An own goal from Luke Thompson was added to by a strike from Louis Storey before half-time as the Mariners seized control of the game.
Carl Finnigan and Jamie Holmes also got themselves on the scoresheet in the second half as Shields recovered well from their 3-2 defeat at Bamber Bridge four days earlier.
The result kept them second in the Evo-Stik North Division.
Shields started Saturday’s game on the front foot, and went close in the first 20 seconds when Darren Lough advanced into the penalty area before seeing his cross turned away by goalkeeper Sam Ashton.
Ramsbottom possessed a threat of their own, though, and almost opened the scoring when Sam Madeley turned outside the box and rifled an effort which Liam Connell did well to save.
Connell made another fine low stop when sloppy play at the back by Shields let in Greg Daniels, whose shot was destined for the bottom corner.
The Mariners found the breakthrough in the 12th minute when Robert Briggs lofted a ball over the top towards Finnigan.
Thompson got to the ball first and sent it sailing past his own goalkeeper to the delight of much of the crowd of over 1,500.
Shields put their foot on the gas, with Lee Mason firing over before the second goal arrived midway through the first half.
Briggs was again at the heart of it, curling in a free-kick from the left which Jon Shaw headed against the bar.
The ball was kept alive and Ashton denied Holmes before it broke to Storey, who calmly tucked it away.
The Mariners were playing their way through at will at this stage and had numerous chances to make it three.
Mason and Finnigan both saw decent efforts saved, and Ashton also denied Shaw after he was picked out by a superb pass from Julio Arca.
The closest the visitors came to pulling a goal back before half-time was eight minutes before the break when a Jamie Rother free-kick was well held by Connell.
Shields struggled to get going at the start of the second half, although Finnigan did see an effort saved after being played in by Mason.
Connell, who was again in fine form, produced another impressive stop from Rother before the Mariners put the game to bed.
Finnigan received the ball on the left of the box, brought it inside and found the bottom corner, and with that the points were safe.
Gavin Cogdon was introduced from the bench and had an immediate impact as he ran in behind the defence on the right before pulling the ball across the area for Holmes, who brilliantly flicked it home to make it four.
Holmes and Finnigan both went close as Shields pushed for a fifth, and Briggs also had a free-kick saved by Ashton.
Chances continued to come and go in what was an entertaining match, and Ramsbottom had an opportunity to score a consolation when Rother was played in on the right, but he skied his effort.
Shields could have added a final bit of gloss to the scoreline in the 90th minute when good work from Cogdon led to fellow substitute Michael Richardson being played in, but he smashed his shot just past the post.
Cogdon also had a strong penalty appeal turned down a minute into stoppage time after he wriggled his way through, but the job was already done for Shields.
They continue their bid for a third successive promotion tomorrow when they host Ossett Town at Mariners Park. Kick-off is at 7.45pm, and admission is £8 for adults, £6 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell, Baxter, Lough, Shaw, Morse, Arca (c) (Richardson 62), Storey, Briggs, Mason (Cogdon 59), Finnigan (Armstrong 75), Holmes. Subs not used: Woolston, Juul.
Goals: Thompson own goal (12), Storey (23), Finnigan (58), Holmes (61).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.