The 33-year-old winger had one year left on his Southend contract but the Shrimpers confirmed that he agreed with the League One for his contract to be terminated.
Kightly made 425 career appearances, 75 of those in the Premier League as he turned out in the top flight for Wolves, as well as for Burnley and Stoke City.
Taken on by Wanderers from non-league Grays Athletic in 2006, initially on loan and then permanently, he made 127 appearances in the old gold and claimed 24 goals and 36 assists (Transfermarkt).
However, after helping Wolves back into the Premier League in 2009, Kightly was denied the chance to make a serious mark on the top flight after suffering a series of injuries, missing 16 months of action and being left out of the club’s 25-man squad for the first half of the 2010-11 campaign.
Kightly subsequently departed Molineux in 2012 after their relegation from the Premier League, joining Stoke City in a move which proved controversial amongst some Wolves fans, though several years later he defended his move, saying he left because he "had to leave" (Express & Star).
Wolves paid tribute to Kightly with a video on their Twitter feed and some fans took to the platform to give their thoughts:
Problem is, we looked after him and he did a runner when times were tough the other way round.— WolvesFirst (@WolvesFirst) August 12, 2019
Deserves a bit more respect from some quarters. It wasn’t his fault he was injured and when he was he was still under contract with us. A better team at the time came in for him. What’s wrong with ambition??— chris walters (@ripstick) August 12, 2019
No time for him.— Dave Presley (@presley_dave) August 12, 2019
Some ridiculous comments here. Fans loved watching him play. All the best.— Rob Biondi (@RobBiondi1) August 12, 2019
Remember watching that, brilliant player— Steve Carson (@SteveCa76295584) August 12, 2019
DELETE THIS RIGHT NOW— James (@_jwynny) August 12, 2019
Great player— jason poole (@jasonpoole15) August 12, 2019
Whatever your take in his departure is, you can't deny that;— Sean Facer (@amatteroffack) August 12, 2019
1) He served the club well and gave his all.
2) Selling him for £3m with poor injury record and 12 months left on his contract was a damn good deal on our end.
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