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An Open Letter From Danny Whitaker

9 July 2019

On a cold February evening back in 2002, I made my debut for Macclesfield Town and I could not have dreamt what was to follow.

It is no exaggeration to say that in the seventeen years that have past since then, I have felt truly humbled to have represented fantastic clubs such as Macclesfield Town, Port Vale, Chesterfield and Oldham Athletic.

They all have a special place in my heart due to the fact that their belief in me meant that I could achieve more than I ever thought possible.

Macc will always mean the world to me - not just because they gave me my first opportunity in professional football, but also because of the infectious nature of being a Silkman which I will forever remain.

Every time I pulled on that blue shirt, I did so with so much pride - I can't really put it into words. It just meant everything.

There have been so many unforgettable moments out there on the Moss Rose pitch, it really is mind-blowing!

From my debut goal to the extra-time hat-trick against Barnsley, from our Wembley appearance to the incredible title-winning campaign that followed and everything in between, I have been so privileged to share my own journey with that of a club who will forever mean everything to me.

Throughout it all, I gave absolutely everything every single week and in many ways this was the easiest thing in the world to do - given the absolutely phenomenal support that I was so lucky to receive.

The fans took me into their hearts as one of their own and please believe me when I say that never a day went by when I was not truly grateful for it.

Every time I walked out onto the pitch, the backing of the fans pushed me forward and ultimately, played a major role in making me who I am today.

Many kids aspire to be a professional footballer, but not many actually get the opportunity to live out that experience and certainly not for as long as I have. A large part of that is a result of the belief and love that I was blessed with from the terraces.

But all good things must come to an end as they say and after some intense personal deliberation over the summer, I have decided to retire from the playing side of the game with immediate effect.

As you can imagine, this was not a decision that I have taken lightly, especially when I feel as fit as I have ever done and was one that elicited all sorts of emotions.

Funnily enough, one of the first things that I did after making the decision was dig out stories of when Paul Scholes retired and returned to old Trafford shortly after - so never say never!

Despite pulling the curtain down on the playing aspect of the game, my cherished association with Macclesfield Town will continue and I am really looking forward to giving my all in the next stage of my career.

I am proud to be remaining at the club and will continue to bring drive, passion and enthusiasm on the training ground and in the dug-out - just like I did for so many years during my playing days.

When you build up such an affiliation with a club, the people who work there and the fans, you never want to let that go. As such I will continue to serve the club I love in the manner that I always have done and hope that you will continue to support me in the next stage of my career.

Danny Whitaker
#23


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