Express & Star

Jake Livermore on West Brom exit: This will always be my club

Departing club captain Jake Livermore wants to be an honorary Baggie for life as he issued a rally cry for a late gasp Albion play-off push.

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Experienced long-serving midfielder Livermore, 33, will call time on six-and-a-half years at The Hawthorns as his contract expires this summer.

Saturday's clash against Norwich City is the final home fixture of the regular Championship season but former England international Livermore does not want it to be goodbye and senses more twists and turns with two games left. Carlos Corberan’s men need six points and hope events elsewhere go their way to finish in the top six.

Livermore, a January 2017 signing who this season marked 200 appearances for the club, last tasted league action in early November, the early weeks of Corberan’s reign, but has remained a key personality behind the scenes.

In an open letter, Livermore wrote: “Dear Baggies fans,

“It has been an honour and a privilege to represent this great football club – your football club – since January 2017.

“I have called The Hawthorns my home for the last six-and-a-half years, and such is my love for this club, its fans and, especially, its incredible, hard-working staff, that it will remain my football home forever – but now the time for me to say goodbye as a player is approaching.

“There have been some unforgettable highs on the pitch that I will always cherish. The emotion of my late goal against Tottenham, representing the club at international level for England, my winner against Birmingham City and, of course, captaining the side to promotion in 2020 – even though I wish you could have all been inside The Hawthorns to celebrate that achievement with us.

“I will also cherish the work that I was fortunate enough to do with our amazing Albion Foundation, and the relationships I’ve built with players and staff, past and present, as well as an amazing fanbase who have been incredible from the very first moment I joined.

“I have been particularly proud to wear the captain’s armband during my time here, having inherited that prestigious honour from Chris Brunt, a true legend of this great club. Now it is time for me to pass on that responsibility and I know there are many capable candidates for Carlos Corberan to choose from.

“This will always be my football club, if you will accept me as an honorary Baggie. My kids have been brought up as Albion fans and, no matter what happens next, I’ll be a regular visitor to The Hawthorns – which will always hold a special place in my heart – long into the future.

“As my spell here comes to a close, your support is more important than ever. I don’t want this weekend to be the last time I walk out at The Hawthorns – I don’t want this Saturday to be goodbye. I believe that our story is not yet written and that there will be one or two more twists and turns in our tale, because together anything is possible.

“Back the team like you have backed me all these years, and let’s see if we can go out with a bang. On countless occasions I have experienced the tidal wave of power that a Hawthorns atmosphere can bring to the team, and I am confident your support on Saturday will be no different.

“Thank you for everything, truly. Skip.”