Carlton Cole has paid tribute to West Ham supporters after it was announced that he would not be offered a new contract by the club.
The London-born striker joined West Ham from Chelsea in 2006 and went on to score 59 goals in 237 appearances for the Upton Park outfit.
But, after manager Sam Allardyce opted against retaining the 29-year-old upon the expiry of his deal, he has bid a fond farewell to Hammers fans.
“I have said that I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived here, but I am glad I came here,” he told the club’s official website.
“I have met so many good and decent people and I also want to thank the West Ham fans for their support. I was always proud to play for West Ham United.
“I hope that they could see I always tried to give my all on the pitch for the team and whether we were home or away, they gave their backing. I am sad to be leaving but there is a new challenge ahead for me now.
“It was full of ups and downs, but I did try my best and will always remember my time here. I wish the club and the fans well for the new season and look forward to what lies ahead for me.”