The man responsible for bringing through Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand has left West Ham United after 43 years of service. Tony Carr, who as academy director was responsible for nurturing Jermain Defoe, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Glen Johnson Lampard and Ferdinand, has helped to earn the club more than £60m in transfer fees during his time at Upton Park.
The 65-year-old was replaced as the academy chief in 2014 by Terry Westley and has since been working for the club in an ambassadorial role.
The club statement read: “We can confirm that Tony Carr has left the club with immediate effect after his two-year contract as club ambassador came to an end. Tony took on the role after departing his long-term position as academy director, with both the club and Tony wanting to ensure that he retained a full-time position and salary beyond his 65th birthday, before beginning to receive his pension.
“As a gesture of gratitude for the outstanding service Tony has given the club, the owners of West Ham United granted him a testimonial match at the Boleyn Ground and Tony retained all profits from this game.
“Tony was offered new terms this summer to continue his ambassadorial role on a part-time basis, however, he declined the opportunity.
“Tony will forever be held in the highest regard by everyone at West Ham United for his outstanding service to the club and he will always be welcome at the new stadium, where his achievements are rightly remembered in the academy bar.”
Carr was believed to be disappointed at the way his exit was handled. He told the Daily Mail: “The way it was done with people from HR, who have been here hardly any time at all, was particularly disrespectful in my opinion but that’s the way of the world these days.”
West Ham will switch their attention to European action in Ljubljana on Thursday despite being without many of their big names. Dimitri Payet, one of the outstanding players of Euro 2016, is still missing along with James Collins and Angelo Ogbonna following their exertions in France, while Aaron Cresswell and Manuel Lanzini have knee injuries.
Slaven Bilic could field his three summer signings – the midfielder Havard Nordtveit and the wingers Sofiane Feghouli and Gokhan Tore – against NK Domzale in the Europa League third qualifying round. “They have made a really good impression and some of them will start, definitely,” the manager said. Reece Oxford has also linked up with the squad after helping England to the semi-finals of the Under-19 European Championship in Germany.
The first leg was switched to Slovenia because West Ham needed an extra week to get the Olympic Stadium ready, with the second leg to be played next Thursday.
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