Mark Roberts: The Warrington Town captain is retiring from football

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

After a professional career that included spells for Stevenage, Cambridge United and Fleetwood Town, among others, Roberts has been virtually omnipresent for Town since arriving at Cantilever Park.

He’s hanging up his boots after playing 145 games for the club and scoring 10 goals.

Roberts has penned an emotional open letter to the club’s supporters about…

WHEN I left school at 16 to pursue my dream of becoming a professional soccer player, I had no idea how long my playing career would last or where it would take me.

22 years later, I stand here incredibly proud and undeniably grateful for what an unpredictable journey it has been.

I guess it’s fitting that having traveled across the country to follow this dream, my final destination is less than a mile from my front door.

I was born very close by in Wincham but when football caught my heart at the age of seven my first team, Northwich Town, actually played in the highly competitive Warrington youth league.

It may come as a surprise that I was a successful striker back then, but I was also the captain of a brilliant group of players who were all hungry to improve and ready to do anything for their team-mates.

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

Our big rival at the time was a team called Rope & Anchor and they were a thorn in our side that we never quite got over.

It’s funny how that can impact both as an individual and as a team, because when we and I weren’t able to overcome everything that came our way, it definitely had a positive effect on me .

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

Long story short, it brings me to this moment. Both for me and for this club because it’s time to move on and also to let go.

It still hurts and always will that I couldn’t take us to the top flight, but I’m not letting that take away from the absolute joy I’ve found in my four seasons here.

Yes we lost a super playoff final, yes we lost a playoff final and yes there was the unprecedented disruption of a pandemic to contend with.

But that’s how I see it.

Despite all the setbacks and uncertainties, we have experienced so much and have only come this far because we made it together. Players, staff and supporters as one.

Everyone did their part, so I want to thank each and every one of you, because you’re a part of me forever now.

In short, therefore, there is nothing more beautiful than the beautiful game.

Yes, football is about winning and thriving, but it’s also about giving people hope – a clear purpose and a sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself.

At the end of my pro 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 wherever I go and whoever I help next.

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

See you yellow ones!

Many Thanks,


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