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‘A really special part of my life and career’ - a departing Wes Hoolahan reflects on time at Cambridge United

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Wes Hoolahan is leaving Cambridge United this summer. Picture: Keith Heppell
Wes Hoolahan is leaving Cambridge United this summer. Picture: Keith Heppell

Wes Hoolahan has described Cambridge United as a “special part of my life and career” as a two-year spell at the Abbey Stadium comes to an end.

The U’s confirmed in their retained list that the 39-year-old will be leaving the club this summer after two memorable campaigns.

Hoolahan helped United earn a surprise promotion from Sky Bet League Two in the 2020/21 season, and more than hold their own in League One this year.

The former Republic of Ireland attacking midfielder made 66 appearances, scoring eight goals and making 17 assists.

“If you told me before I signed that this would happen, I wouldn’t have believed you,” said Hoolahan.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the two years I had. To play as much as I did and for us to have achieved what I did, it has been a really special part of my life and career.

“The day we won promotion is the day that will live with me the longest. Nobody gave us a chance that season and for us to finally get over the line – after a bit of a wobble - and then to celebrate with the fans on the roof was definitely my biggest highlight.

“Just an unbelievable day, season and moment for the club.”

Hoolahan, who turns 40 on May 20, had initially signed a one-year deal, but agreed a new contract last summer to stay with the U’s in League One.

“This last season was brilliant, too,” he said.

“Again, nobody gave us a chance but to compete the way we did against some massive teams and to do as well as we did was fantastic.

“We had so many great games both at home and away and to do it in-front of our fans was magic.

“I can’t thank the fans enough. They followed us everywhere this season and the Abbey was incredible. The atmosphere was electric and it was a pleasure to play in.

“It was pretty special to hear them sing my name as often as they did – it makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck - so I feel like I had a good relationship with the fans.”

Reflecting on his two years at the Abbey, and his team-mates and staff at the club, Hoolahan added: “It is a special group of players and that is the main reason we achieved so much.

“All the players and staff pull in the same direction and it is quite special. I want to wish them and the club as a whole all the best for next season and beyond.

“I will always be looking out for Cambridge scores now and follow as a fan. It was a great honour to play for the club.”

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