WARRINGTON Town captain Mark Roberts has confirmed his retirement from football.

The 38-year-old, who was born in Northwich but now lives in Warrington, has twice led Yellows to the brink of promotion to the National League North since joining in 2018.

After a professional career which saw him turn out for the lives of Stevenage, Cambridge United and Fleetwood Town among others, Roberts has been a virtual ever-present for Town since arriving at Cantilever Park.

He hangs up his boots having made 145 appearances for the club, scoring 10 goals.

Roberts has penned an emotional open letter to the club’s fans, which says the following…

WHEN I left school at 16 to pursue my dream of becoming a professional footballer, little did I know then how long my playing career would last or where it would take me.

Fast forward 22 years and I stand here today incredible proud and undeniably grateful for what an unpredictable journey it has been.

I guess it is fitting that having travelled the length and breadth of the country in order to follow that dream, that my final destination would be less than a mile from my front door.

I was born just up the road in Wincham but when football stole my heart at the age of seven, my first team, Northwich Town, were actually playing in the highly competitive Warrington youth league.

It might come as a bit of a surprise that back then I was a prolific striker but I was also captain of a brilliant group of players all hungry to improve and prepared to give everything for their teammates.

Sound familiar? Well maybe apart from the prolific striker part!

Our big rivals at the time were a team called Rope & Anchor, and they were the thorn in our side that we were never quite able to overcome.

It’s funny how that can impact you both as an individual and as a team because when I, and we, were unable to conquer all that stood in our way, it certainly had a positive effect on me.

It forced me to dig deeper and work harder to get where I wanted to be and that has been an important lesson which has served me well both on the pitch and in my life.

Long story short, it leads to me to this moment. For both myself and this club, as it’s time to move on and also to let go.

It still does and always will hurt that I was unable to lead us to the league above, yet I won’t let that fact detract from the absolute joy I have found in my four seasons here.

Yes, we’ve lost a super play-off final, yes we’ve lost a play-off final and yes, there’s been the unprecedented disruption of a pandemic to contend with.

But here is how I view it.

Despite all the setbacks and uncertainty, we managed to experience so much and we only got so far because we did it together. Players, staff and supporters as one.

Everybody has played their part so I want to thank each and every one of you because you’re now forever part of me.

That, in a nutshell, is why there is nothing quite like the beautiful game.

Yes, football is about winning and creating success but it’s also about giving people hope – a clear sense of purpose and a feeling that you belong to something bigger than yourself.

At the end of my professional career I honestly thought I’d lost that for good. You all gave that back to me and now I believe I can find it in wherever I go and whoever I help next.

So, I have nothing but fond memories and happiness in my heart. And I will return to Cantilever Park as a fan.

See you soon Yellows!

Thank you,