Luke Daly is to leave South Shields after the difficult decision was made not to offer the midfielder a new deal ahead of the 2021-22 season.
Daly made 21 competitive appearances for the club after joining from Droylsden in January 2019.
He caught the eye with his energetic and wholehearted displays before earning his place in the affections of Shields supporters with a dramatic late winning goal against Scarborough Athletic just three months into his time at 1st Cloud Arena.
Sadly, two serious knee injuries meant Daly was denied the opportunity to build on the impressive start he made to his Shields career and saw him miss almost two years of action.
He is now back in full training and played in two behind-closed-doors matches over recent weeks as his progress was examined ahead of the expiration of his contract.
South Shields manager Graham Fenton said: “We’ve been closely monitoring Luke and have ultimately come to the conclusion that we’re not able to offer him a deal to stay with us next season.
“It was a very difficult decision to make but we felt it was the correct call based on a lot of factors.
“At the moment, we wouldn’t foresee Luke impacting the first-team for quite a significant period of time yet.
“We realise that he has been through an extremely difficult period with his injury and his recovery has been hampered by the Covid situation, which has meant it has taken him a lot longer than would otherwise be expected to get up to speed.
“Because of that, Luke’s journey at the club has sadly come to an end, for the moment at least.
“You never know what is around the corner in football though and we know Luke is a very good player who has the potential to go somewhere and perform exceptionally well over the next 12 to 24 months.
“If that happens we could be picking up the phone to him again in the future but this is a club which demands success immediately and we just feel Luke isn’t quite ready to perform at the level required yet.
“We’d like to thank him for all of his efforts here. He has been a fantastic young person and player to work with and we wish him all the best for the future, wherever that may be.”
Graham Fenton is swapping the dugout for the saddle as he embarks on a gruelling bike ride in aid of a cancer charity.
The South Shields manager will join a group of friends in cycling from Tynemouth to London in memory of Katie Duff, who tragically died after a battle with cancer aged just 14 last year.
The ride, which is expected to take three-and-a-half days and cover 350 miles, will raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust to benefit families who experience today what none should endure in a lifetime.
It will begin on Wednesday, June 30 at Tynemouth Priory, with Graham and his team due to reach the finishing line at the gates of Buckingham Palace on Saturday, July 3.
Graham said: “Katie will be sorely missed but never forgotten and we just wanted to do something in her memory to help other families going through such difficult experiences.
“We know that this is going to be a tough challenge but we’re looking forward to it and just want to raise as much money as possible along the way in honour of Katie.
“It would be hugely appreciated if anyone could contribute – no matter how big or small – towards the cause.”
Graham has been a keen cyclist since his playing days, which included spells with the likes of Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City.
He has taken part in cycling challenges for charity previously – notably in 2016, when he was part of a team which covered 220 miles from North Shields to Chester – but this is set to be his most difficult yet.
Graham, who joined the Mariners as joint manager in September 2016 before taking sole charge of the team last November, added: “I’m expecting it to be a very big physical challenge because we’re going to have to cover roughly 100 miles a day to hit our target.
“We’ve done one bike ride together and completed just over 100 miles on that occasion in a day.
“We found that extremely difficult so going that distance for three-and-a-half days in a row is going to be very, very tough and we’ll have to dig deep at times.
“We’re looking forward to giving it everything we’ve got for such a good cause.”
Anyone who would like to donate to the fundraiser can do so by going to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/TynemouthtoLondonlycralads. A total of £2,680 has been raised so far.
There was one lucky winner of the club’s Bingo Lottery at the weekend – with SSFC vice-president David Fall scooping the £857.50 prize.
The game had been running for seven weeks when David’s numbers were all matched.
We would like to congratulate David and thank everyone involved in the Bingo Lottery for their support, with 50% of the proceeds benefitting the club and the other half making up the jackpot.
Now is the ideal chance to sign up for the next game, which will start with this coming Saturday’s National Lotto draw.
Participants select six numbers between one and 59, and can also enter with more than one set of numbers for £1 per week per line.
Each Saturday, any numbers which come out on the National Lotto draw are ticked off until the first participant(s) match all six of their selections, therefore winning the prize.
Entry tickets can be downloaded at the Bingo Lottery section of the club website, and can also be obtained by calling Bob Scott on 07920 554377.