Josh Coulson makes Cambridge United exit
U's stalwart departs for Leyton Orient
Josh Coulson’s long-term association with Cambridge United has come to an end with a permanent move to Leyton Orient.
The 28-year-old centre-back has been on loan at the Conference National club this season, and has now left the Abbey Stadium by mutual consent to make the permanent switch to the Matchroom Stadium.
“I would like to say a massive thank you to everybody at the club, as well as the fans who have supported me during my time with Cambridge United,” said Coulson.
“It does feel like the end of an era and whilst I’m looking forward to a new chapter, I will never forget the fantastic highs I have experienced with this football club.
“I’ll still be around the place in the future, and I’ll be on the terraces soon enough. But for now I would just like to say thank you from both myself and my family and wish the club all the best for the future.”
Coulson first joined United as part of the youth scheme in 2006, and signed his first professional contract that year ahead of making his professional debut against Halifax in 2007.
During his time at the Abbey, Coulson lifted the FA Trophy at Wembley Stadium and was part of the squad that helped the U’s return to the Football League.
And in his first match in the Football League on the opening day of the 2014-15 season, Coulson scored the winning goal against Plymouth Argyle.
His final tally of appearances for the U’s stands at a remarkable 324 games.
United football director Graham Daniels said: “This is obviously a bittersweet day for everyone at Cambridge United.
“It is the right move for Josh but it obviously means saying goodbye to someone who is very special to the fans and everyone at the club.
“Cambridge born and bred Josh has made an immense contribution to Cambridge United in so many different ways – on and off the pitch – over the last decade.
“He has done so much it is hard to know where to start. He has been there through all the darkest days and the brightest moments of recent years – a pillar of strength on the pitch and a real leader off it with his endless good humour and selflessness.
“No one has done more as an ambassador for Cambridge United in the community because nothing is ever too much trouble for Josh and his first instinct is to help people.
“He came to embody everything that has been best about the football club in recent times.
“Josh leaves Cambridge United a genuine club legend. We are so pleased we were able to mark his contribution to the club in his testimonial last year.
“The warmth of the tribute from the fans was testament to the affection and respect in which they have rightly always held him.
“And of course it was so fitting that Josh wrote his own page in the history of the club. Coulson in front of the Newmarket Road end, our first goal back in the league – a real moment to cherish and one that almost took the roof off the stand.”