Fans’ favourite Paul Robinson has admitted it was with a heavy heart that he decided to leave Whitley Bay FC and sign for Darlington 1883.
The midfielder has thanked the club and everyone associated with it for their support during his time with the Seahorses, and said he is now looking forward to a fresh start with his new club.
Robinson joined Darlington, who recently secured promotion from the Northern League, at the weekend and said it is the only club he would have left Whitley Bay for.
The 27-year-old said: “It was a really tough decision, I have been at Whitley for six brilliant seasons now and loved every minute.
“I have got so many brilliant memories and met so many brilliant people.
“The club is ran really well and it’s such a friendly club, from top to bottom, but I think Darlington was too good a chance to turn down, so with a heavy heart I decided to move on.”
The midfielder has made more than 250 appearances for Bay since joining in 2007 from Newcastle Blue Star – notching 73 goals in the process.
And his time at the Hillheads outfit has not been without success, picking up an FA Calrsberg Vase winners medal at Wembley three times in a row, a Northumberland Senior Cup winners medal, as well as Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and Goal of the Season awards on a number of different occasions.
Looking back on his time at Whitley Bay, the highs definitely overshadow the lows, and he picks out the 2009-10 campaign as his favourite season.
He added; “There haven’t been that many lows for me at the club.
“Being left out of the 2009 Vase final hurt, but looking back now it without doubt made me a better player.
“I’ve got so many highs, the Vase runs, the goal in the final, playing at St James’ Park twice, three times at Wembley.
“There have been some unbelievable achievements and to experience it with so many friends and good people made it even better.
“Personally, the last minute diving header in the rain at home to Barwell in the 2010 Vase semi-final was my best moment, I think.
“It was also probably the last time I headed the ball, but that was amazing, especially after the personal disappointment of the season before.
“That whole 2009-10 season was amazing and was my favourite season.”
On joining from Newcastle Blue Star, Robinson was an instant hit with the fans, and he says the supporters’ songs from the sidelines helped give him a huge boost during games.
“The fans have been superb,” he added.
“Scoring the winning goal on my debut back in 2007 helped, and since then they seemed to take to me, which is always nice, but the songs and chants really lifted me during games and I hope they enjoyed watching me play as much as I enjoyed playing for them.”
Now after a summer break, Robbo will join Darlington 1883 as they continue their campaign to climb the football pyramid, but not before praising the man that brought him to Whitley Bay though.
“As much as I am gutted to be leaving, I am looking forward to a new challenge and a fresh start with Darlington, and they were the only club I would have ever left Whitley Bay for, and I’m looking forward to getting started.
“I’d like to say a massive thanks to Chan [Ian Chandler] as well, who took me from Blue Star when I wasn’t playing, and has looked after me ever since.
“He’s a great man, and manager, and regardless of who is in the team, Whitley will always be successful with him in charge.”