SUNDERLAND owner and chairman Ellis Short has paid tribute to Niall Quinn after the Irishman announced he is to sever his links with the club.
The American said: “Niall Quinn is and always will be a Sunderland legend.
“His vision brought me into the club, and that vision still inspires what we do.
“He has been a trusted friend and advisor to me throughout our time together at Sunderland, and whilst I’m sad about his departure, I respect his view that his ‘work is done’.
“My job is to carry on that work.
“He has been a wonderful servant to Sunderland, and his determination to see the club grow has been inspirational.
“His hard work laid down the foundations that we are now building on, and the vision and drive he showed both in those early days and indeed in recent times as he focused on our international development, particularly in Africa, should never be underestimated.
“We fully understand his desire to take a back seat now and to concentrate on his own life and interests away from football and he deserves that opportunity.
“I would like to express my own personal thanks to Niall for his support, and he leaves with our very best wishes and immense gratitude for all he has achieved.”
“He will always have a unique and special place in our history and indeed in the hearts of every Sunderland fan.”