Promotion-winner Callum Ainley will leave Crewe Alexandra as one of our all-time top appearance-makers.
The 25-year-old, who joined the club at the age of eight, will open a new chapter in his career elsewhere, after his contract expired.
Callum, part of the 2019-20 squad which earned promotion to League One, made 278 appearances for The Railwaymen, ranking him 13th in the club’s 146-year history.
He said: “Crewe Alexandra has been a huge part of my life since I joined at the age of eight, and I’m very proud to have made 278 appearances for the club.
“My eight seasons in the first team have brought highs and lows, but from making my debut at 17, to my final appearance in the win over Bradford, I have always given 100%
“The 2019-20 promotion season, achieved with so many players I grew up with, is something that will always be special to me; while most frustrations have revolved around injuries which held me back at times.
“I’d like to thank all the staff, players, and fans who have supported me throughout the years.
“I’ll always wish the very best for Crewe Alex.”
Manager Lee Bell said: “Callum is a promotion-winner who has given so many years to the club. He's been a terrific servant.
“I think we agree it’s time for him to try something else, and he will get plenty of offers. He is at a good age and has played loads of football in this division and the one above.
“I’ve no doubt that in six months he will be settled and pleased with the way things have worked out. Callum will always be welcome at Crewe Alexandra.”
Everybody at Crewe Alexandra would like to thank Callum for his service and wish him all the very best for the future.
A full retained list will be published in due course.