South Africa international Matty Pattison has left South Shields and signed for Northern League Division One side Whickham.
The former Newcastle United midfielder will be back in black and white stripes after a change in his family circumstances meant he couldn’t commit to travelling with the Evo-Stik Premier side.
He has put pen to paper with his local club Whickham, but says he was ‘gutted’ to be leaving Mariners Park and has predicted nothing but more success for the club.
“I’m delighted to sign for Whickham,” he said. “The club is right on my doorstep and I’ve followed their results closely over the last couple of years.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at South Shields and it was a tough decision to leave, but with all the travel needed playing for Shields, it was conflicting with my family life and becoming tougher and tougher.
“Out of all the non-league clubs up here, you couldn’t ask for a better club and better facilities than Shields.
“It’s a fantastic club and I’m gutted I have to leave it. It’s on another level and they will only go from strength to strength.
“The two managers are very thorough and they bring an energy and level of coaching to the club which is superb. I wish them all the best in the future.”
Pattison joined Shields from Blyth Spartans in May 2017 and went on to make 43 appearances for the club, scoring five goals.
His last appearance was a memorable one as he scored Shields’ fifth in the 5-1 Emirates FA Cup win over Garforth Town on Saturday.
Joint manager Lee Picton said: “I’m sure many of the fans will go on to have fond long-lasting memories of Matty’s skill levels and undeniable flair on the pitch, but he was also a fantastic character to have in the dressing room and around the club in general.
“We obviously wish him and his family all the success moving forwards and they will always be welcome back at Mariners Park.”