the npl

Lees calls time on his Gladiators career due to family reasons

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Lees calls time on his Gladiators career due to family reasons

Popular midfielder Mark Lees says he found it an incredibly tough decision but due to family reasons he has had to reluctantly call his time at Matlock Town to an end.

Lees announced the news to manager Martin Carruthers and club officials earlier this week and while it comes as yet another blow to Carruthers and the Gladiators, the club fully understand the reasoning behind the decision.

Lees joined the Gladiators in the summer of 2020 and has been a model of consistency in the engine room taking on the role of the water carrier, doing all the unspectacular but at the same time the essential tasks that have led to recent success on the field.

“It’s down to personal reasons that I both need and I want to be closer to home” said Ashton-under Lyne based Lees.

“This has been an incredibly difficult decision for me to make but it’s the right one for me and my family. Matlock Town is a fantastic club who have treated me brilliantly and I’d like to thank you all personally for welcoming me into your club and wish you all the best for the future. I’ve made many friends at Matlock, the fans have been top class and I’ll miss you all.”

Chairman Jay Beaumont holds Lees in high regard as he praised his contribution to the Gladiators.

“What a fantastic player he’s been for us, he’s never given anything less than one hundred per cent and I’m sure he’s been one of the first names on the manager’s team sheet while he’s been here. Yes we didn’t want to see him go but we fully understand and appreciate that his family must be the number one priority and I know that he really wanted to stay with us. On behalf of us all I’d like to say a big thank you to him and wish him the very best for the future, he’ll always be welcome at Matlock Town.”

Carruthers had only been Lees’ manager for a little over a fortnight but Lees’ standing at the club and in the game shone through like a beacon.

“Leesy-an absolutely fantastic professional with a superb attitude. I really didn’t expect him playing against Belper or Gainsborough but full credit to him, he’s different class. Family’s so important, so we all wish him well in and out of football.”

Lees will be joining North West Counties League Wythenshawe Town with the Gladiators retaining his NPL registration.

Ian Richardson