‘Legend,’ ‘one of the best I’ve ever played with’ – Players and supporters pay tribute as Macclesfield veteran retires

David Ingham - originally posted to Flickr as P7187188

Macclesfield Town’s veteran midfielder Danny Whitaker has announced his retirement.

In an emotional open letter posted on the club’s official website, the thirty-eight-year-old said he was ‘truly humbled to have represented fantastic clubs such as Macclesfield Town, Port Vale, Chesterfield and Oldham Athletic.’ He added that he would ‘forever remain’ a Silkman due to the tremendous support he had received there during his two long spells with the club.

Known affectionally by some as the ‘Wilmslow Pele,’ Whitaker began his long career at Moss Rose in 2002 having come through the youth ranks and went on to make two hundred and one appearances in his first spell before moving onto Port Vale, Oldham and Chesterfield where he was part of the side that won the League Two Title in 2011 and EFL Trophy in 2012.

He returned to Cheshire in 2013 going onto make a further two hundred and forty outings for the Silkmen and helping them back to the EFL, winning the National League title in 2017.

Instantly recognisable to any lower league supporter, Whitaker will always be remembered as a Macclesfield player and in summing up his time at the club he said: ‘The fans took me into their hearts as one of their own and please believe me when I say that never a day went by when I was not truly grateful for it.’

‘Every time I walked out onto the pitch, the backing of the fans pushed me forward and ultimately, played a major role in making me who I am today.’

Whitaker confirmed he would be staying at the club in a coaching capacity, so his long association with the Silkmen will continue.

Tributes and accolades greeted the announcement from players past and present as well as supporters of all the clubs Whitaker played for in his long and distinguished career.

Here is a selection of responses to the open letter on Twitter, and from everyone at the realefl.co.uk all the best for the future Danny and congratulations on a fantastic career.

 

 

 

 

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