'Captain, Leader, Legend' - Middlesbrough fans hail Grant Leadbitter after former Sunderland and Ipswich Town midfielder brings down the curtain on his career
Middlesbrough supporters took to social media to send tributes to former club captain Grant Leadbitter after the 35-year-old announced his retirement from professional football.
Leadbitter signed for Boro back in May 2012 and went on to make almost 250 appearances for the club, during which time he helped them gain promotion to the Premier League in 2016.
The midfielder became a firm favourite during a six-and-a-half-year spell at the Riverside Stadium winning the club’s Player of the Year award and being named in the PFA Team of the Year.
Leadbitter joined the club from Ipswich Town after a successful stint with boyhood side Sunderland before returning to the Black Cats in 2019 where he has made the decision to bring the curtain down on his career after another two years on Wearside.
And Boro fans were quick to praise a club legend.
@DaisyMales7: Will forever be one of the great Boro players
@smoggyrob87: My favourite Boro captain of recent years. Always put in a shift and left nothing behind.
@justcalledtosay: There aren’t many people that can unite the same feeling between Boro and Sunderland, but he’s one of them. Thanks for the memories Grant #UTB
@luislago: Top man. Legend as a football player. The Skipper. My respect.
@LiamCFinn: Best captain since Southgate. Thanks for giving us something to smile about during the dark days over the last decade, Grant.
@paulymc1982: Captain. Leader. Legend. I’ve actually lost my passion a bit for Boro since he left.
@Reecelee2002: Always wore his heart on his sleeve, captain, leader, legend. Best captain we’ve had in my lifetime supporting the club, all the best Grant
@Millburn1991Sam: Pound for pound one of the best signings. Unbelievable leader on the pitch, instrumental in promotion and holding the club together once we went back down, when the club was in turmoil and players around him had given up he stood above everyone else and never let the club down.
@untypicalboro: Teesside’s favourite Mackem. The emotional fuel in the engine of the Karanka machine. Totally driven.