Long-serving midfielder Lee Reed believes Bury Town are only going on to more success — which made it even harder for him to leave this week.
The left-footed maestro joined from Haverhill Rovers six years ago without an honour to his name, but went on to win four trophies in as many seasons with the Blues, including the Southern League Division One Midlands title.
But after 18 months of injury woe — which included a double hernia problem — Reed admits he needs to leave to rediscover his ‘spark’.
“I’ve been there a long time and sometimes you just need a new challenge,” he said. “Perhaps the spark has gone — I need to get that back.”
Reed first went to Bury bosses more than a month ago to say he wanted to be released from his contract, but agreed to stay on while the search for new players continued.
But now the Blues’ squad has been bolstered — most recently by central defender Adam Bailey-Dennis at the end of last week — the club allowed the midfielder to leave ‘with great sadness’.
Reed’s highlight remains the 2010 title — netting 17 goals — but he provided numerous memorable moments, including scoring the winner against Chelmsford City in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup on Bury’s run to the first round in 2008.
“One of the gut-wrenching things about this decision is the squad that’s there now is as good as any that’s been there in my time with the club,” added the cultured midfielder, whose brother Sam also departed this summer. “As I step back, I can see they are only going to do good things.”
Manager Richard Wilkins said: “I still believe Lee is one of the best footballers I have had in my squad at any time — he goes with Bury Town’s best wishes.”