“I honoured the shirt with pride and passion. I hope the players who fill my spots in the future will wear the shirt with the same desire. ”
Mark Haines, Defender
Haines (pictured) signed for Chelmsford City from Grays Athletic in the 2009/10 season.
The tall defender started his career with the West Ham United & Southend United youth academies, before making a number of appearances for Northampton Town’s Reserve Team during the 2007/08 campaign.
Mark then moved to Grays Athletic the following season, where he appeared against Chelmsford City in the clubs’ League Cup clash.
He impressed City’s management sufficiently during the 2009/10 pre-season and earned himself a place in the first team squad. He went on to win the club’s Young Player of the Year award.
The defender was also part of that famous FA Cup campaign in the 2012/13 season when we beat Colchester United 3-1 at the Melbourne Community Stadium.
In total, Haines made 292 appearances in all competitions for the Clarets, scoring 5 goals, including a fantastic chipped goal vs Bishop's Stortford.
Mark Haines would like to thank everyone at Chelmsford City for an unbelievable ten years.
"I'd like to say thank you to Glenn Pennyfather (Gaffa) for giving me the chance at the very beginning of my small career, yet full of great memories.
"It's a day I knew would come, but not this soon. Last season was a struggle getting into the team and I was hit by further setbacks with Glandular Fever.
"I'm bitterly disappointed that I didn't get myself to 300 appearances but at the same time, I'm over the moon to have spent 10 seasons at my Club. I honoured the shirt with pride and passion. I hope the players who fill my spots in the future will wear the shirt with the same desire.
"I would also like to thank the fans for our loyal support! Your voice is always heard and this club would not be in this position without your input. You are an inspiration to every Club in the League, well done Claret Army!
"I would also like to thank my family for their support, my Dad & brother for watching me and coming to watch me in whatever the weather. Dad, James, it means the world to me, thank you!
"I have made friends for life through football who I really don't take for granted anymore. The tragic death of Thala [Mike Thalassitis] really put life into perspective for me... at the end of the day, it's only Football.
"Over and out.... The Lord!"
Manager Rod Stringer said:
"I'd like to thank Mark for being such a loyal servant to the Football Club; he's a great lad and it's been a privilege. Mark is well respected in Non-League and I can't speak highly enough of him.
"I know that our supporters are very fond of Mark and will miss him. He's Chelmsford through and through.
"Wherever Mark goes, I'm sure he'll continue to give his all like he did for us. I have nothing but respect for him."
The Club and Mark remain in contact about arranging a Testimonial as a thank you for his loyal service.
We would also like to take this moment to say a massive thank you to Mark during his 10 year stay with the Club and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors. He will always be welcome back anytime.
Updated 12:14 - 14 May 2019 by Chris Berry