On early Monday morning, it was confirmed that clear West Bromwich Albion fan favourite, Gareth McAuley, had now hung up his boots and announced his retirement from the game.
The 39-year-old Northern Ireland international has followed quickly in the footsteps of another fan favourite, and former centre-half partner, Jonas Olsson, who announced his own retirement just over a week ago.
After 23 years playing football its time for new challenges pic.twitter.com/WOdOr3Cw6j
— Gareth McAuley (@G23mcauley) September 30, 2019
McAuley had a very good career, making well over 500 appearances in the game, and over 200 of those came at The Hawthorns following his arrival back in the summer of 2011, and he didn’t depart that long ago – heading for Rangers in the 2018/19 summer window.
His part in helping us to stay in the Premier League for all those years, with an odd foray further up the table, will never be forgotten and fans were quick to pay tribute to his career, and his time with us, for the part he played. He’ll certainly be welcomed back!
All the best in retirement. Doubted whether signing a player on a free to play premier league football was wise. Couldn’t have been more wrong, one of the finest players and professionals to pull on an albion shirt. Class act on and off the pitch.
— Ste (@ste198t2) September 30, 2019
Well done GMac, you’re welcome back anytime
— Matt (@RxbsonKanu) September 30, 2019
WBA legend, good luck for the future
— Kirk (@kirk1477) September 30, 2019
Privileged to have watched you play for #wba, Gareth. Good luck to your and your family
— Scott Field (@scottjfield) September 30, 2019
Fantastic servant to my club, unbelievable will to win. Wishing you all the very best in anything you do. Hope our club @WBA invite you back like Jonas to allow us to give our thanks.
— Alistair Jones (@AliJones9) September 30, 2019
Thanks for everything at the Albion Gareth, and good luck with whatever comes next.
— diane skidmore (@skidders61) September 30, 2019
— Daws (@Daws___) September 30, 2019
— Richard Downing (@rjdowning) September 30, 2019