Hassan ‘saddened’ by Turnbull exit

Ibby Hassan has left the Turnbull Ground. Picture: Brian Murfield

Ibby Hassan has left the Turnbull Ground. Picture: Brian Murfield

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Long-serving defender Ibrahim Hassan says he is ‘sad’ to be leaving Whitby Town, after more than six years at the club.

The fans’ favourite, who was in his seventh season at the Turnbull Ground, has signed for Northern Leage outfit South Shields, his hometown team.

Ibby Hassan closes down Matlock's Joel Purkiss during the Blues' defeat to the Gladiators in August 2015

Ibby Hassan closes down Matlock's Joel Purkiss during the Blues' defeat to the Gladiators in August 2015

“I’m sad to be going, this club has been a big part of my life for such a long time,” Hassan told the Whitby Gazette.

“It was a really tough decision and something that I had to give a lot of thought to.

“South Shields came in for me in the summer, but I decided to stay at Whitby at the time out of loyalty, and because I love the club.”

Hassan’s work commitments are the reason behind his eventual switch to South Shields, with the Blues announcing on Saturday that they had agreed to release him from his contract.

In pre-season action against Bradford City, 2015

In pre-season action against Bradford City, 2015

“I work away in Scotland some of the week, which means that I haven’t been able to attend as many training sessions as I would like,” he added.

“It has just got to the point where it’s become too hectic for me trying to fit everything in.”

Hassan, 27, had spells at Jarrow Roofing and Chester-le-Street before Harry Dunn brought him to Whitby in the summer of 2009.

He made his competitive debut in a 3-2 defeat at Nantwich Town in the opening game of the 2009/10 campaign, and went on to make more than 270 appearances for the Seasiders.

Tackling Hartlepool United in 2014

Tackling Hartlepool United in 2014

The last of these came in a 3-1 loss at Workington on October 6. Hassan pulled his groin intercepting a ball on the edge of his own box and was replaced by Luca Mellor just 15 minutes in.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play under some really good managers at Whitby and alongside a lot of great lads,” he continued.

“I have made so many friends at the club, from the tea ladies to Eric the groundsman, and I will genuinely miss all these people, and the fans.

“I’ve loved my time with Whitby.”

Signing for new club South Shields. Picture: Peter Talbot

Signing for new club South Shields. Picture: Peter Talbot

Read more from Ibby Hassan, including his fondest memories of his time as a Blue, in Friday’s Gazette.