Richie McLoughlin has paid tribute to Paul Chow after the Jarrow Roofing striker announced he would be leaving the club to have a break from football.
The three-time FA Vase winner announced his decision on Twitter after Tuesday night’s defeat against Whickham in the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup, and McLoughlin admits he was sad to see him depart.
“I was disappointed, of course,” McLoughlin said. “He’s a great guy and he’s a good character to have around the place.
“However, I think he has found it slightly difficult at times this season.
“We were his first Northern League club. I signed him and gave him his debut when he was just 18 years old.
“Since then, he’s gone on to have a fantastic career, and he’s achieved some remarkable things – both here at Roofing and elsewhere.
“This was his third spell at the club, and he was just as hungry to score goals when he signed for us again back in 2015 than he was when he first came here.
“You never know, he might even come back again, and it’ll be good if he does. However, it’s just a shame that he couldn’t take the break after being part of a win.”
The 36-year-old has built up a reputation over the years as being one of the most prolific marksmen in the Northern League.
In just 404 appearances for Whitley Bay, he racked up 270 goals, a tremendous achievement. He also holds the honour of scoring the fastest goal at the new Wembley Stadium.
The 2015/16 season saw the South Tynesider continue his red-hot goalscoring form, plundering 34 goals and finishing as the club’s leading scorer in the process.
He also scooped the Committee’s Player of the Year Award and the Supporters’ Player of the Year Award.
Despite a period of change both on and off the pitch for Roofing this season, Chow still managed to find the net 11 times in all competitions.
His last goal for the club came on October 15 – and it was a memorable one, heading an injury time winner against table-topping North Shields to seal a 3-2 success.
“When you reach the stage of your career that Chow has, you want your team-mates to put in the miles for you on the pitch and put you in positions to score,” McLoughlin added.
“That’s not happened at times during this season, and he’s maybe had to do more defensive work than he would have liked.
“It’s been difficult for him over the past few weeks. However, he has still scored some important goals for us.
“That just proves how much quality he has.
“I think he deserves this rest. I hope it does him good, and I hope he enjoys it.”