Carlton Cole thanks fans after West Ham release

The striker has penned an open letter to the Hammers fans after his release.

Striker Carlton Cole has thanked West Ham fans after being released, in an open letter on the club’s official website.

The forward has failed to agree a new deal at the club, announcing his departure on Twitter earlier today. It is the second time he has been released by the side having left in 2013 only to sign a short-term deal, then an 18-month agreement, in January last year.

He has played a peripheral role for the Hammers this season as new signings Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho became the club’s preferred striking options, while Andy Carroll is also ahead of him when fit.

Rather than it being a bitter break up, though, he has thanked the fans for their support over the years.

“I’ve been at West Ham United for quite a long time,” he wrote.

“I’ve enjoyed myself here, with all the ups and downs, the heartaches and everything that came along with it. At the same time, I’ve grown from being a boy to a man here and everybody has treated me like a part of the family.”

The 31-year-old began his career at Chelsea before moving to east London in the summer of 2006, and has been a part of everything that has happened since, including their relegation to the Championship and subsequent return.

And despite both the highs and lows, the forward insists he has enjoyed every minute of his time at Upton Park.

“West Ham will always have a special place in my heart,” he added.

“It means a lot to me to have been at West Ham for so long. I wouldn’t like to use the word hero, but I have played my part. A load of players have come and gone, but I’ve stayed around and enjoyed every minute of it.”

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