“All in all it has been a fantastic journey for me over the last six-and-a-half years” – the words of George Elokobi who is set for a fond farewell from Molineux at the end of the season.
The popular defender has kicked his last competitive ball in Wolves’ colours after it was revealed he will not be offered a new contract at the end of the season, bringing to an end his spell at the club in which he made 103 appearances and scored four goals.
Head Coach Kenny Jackett has revealed that Elokobi, while recovered from his hamstring injury, will not be considered for tomorrow’s final game of the season against Carlisle (3pm) so as not to take any risks as he seeks his next challenge.
Elokobi is set for one final Molineux appearance in the less intense atmosphere of Jody Craddock’s testimonial on Monday, and will leave Wolves with nothing but good words having completed the non-league to Premier League journey during his time at the club.
“All in all it has been a fantastic journey for me over the last six-and-a-half years,” says Elokobi.
“It feels like it has gone quickly but it has been a massive part of my life.
“I’ve been through it all! I’ve got scars, I’ve got medals, I’ve got relegation tears and promotion tears.
“It’s been a great time for me and included some great times for the club.
“It is an emotional day and at the same time these are fantastic memories for me and I will leave Wolves with a lot of pride and leaving Wolves on a high.
“There is a real buzz about Wolves at the moment and if I was going to leave I always wanted it to be at a time like this.
“Hopefully these good times are going to be continue in the future for Wolves – I am a fan now and no one will be stopping me coming to watch Wolves when I can!
“This is football and this happens in football, and I will be there on Saturday to make sure I say my farewells and my thankyous to all the fans.
“And I will look forward to Jody Craddock’s testimonial on Monday when hopefully I can get on the pitch as well.”
Elokobi has come back from two serious injuries during his time at Wolves, a cruciate knee ligament injury in the 2008/09 promotion season and then when breaking his ankle and damaging his ligaments on the first game of a loan spell at Bristol City.
The work of the Wolves’ medical and fitness staff in getting him back to peak condition figures heavily in the appreciation stakes as he prepares to depart Molineux.
“Firstly I want to thank the club for employing me and giving me the six-and-a-half years here and giving me the chance to share in the history,” he says.
“It has been a fantastic time for me and I want to thank the gaffer and the playing staff.
“I have made some great friends, some of whom are still here and others who have already moved on.
“Obviously I want to thank the medical staff for mending me and bringing me back to where I am now with my fitness and feeling as good as when I was playing in the Premier League.
“They have done unbelievable work along with Tony Daley to get my body back to where it needs to be.
“And I am not going to forget the amazing fans at this Club – I have some friends who are fans as well.
“They are fantastic fans who have supported me through thick and thin and to have that support, even when I didn’t play for so long, is incredible.
“I can only wish them – and Wolverhampton Wanderers – the very best for the future.”
Elokobi continues: I’ve got too many great memories here.
“Obviously the promotion and coming back from such a bad injury on the final day of the season.
“Competing in the Premier League and playing against some of the big boys – and winning against some of them as well.
“As a team we stayed up for two seasons in the Premier League as well.
“I was delighted to score some goals as well because all of those goals were special to me.”
What then now for Elokobi? Well he’s ready, willing and able to try and set about his next footballing challenge.
He says: “There is nothing holding me back now – I am fit and ready and my fitness is back to where it was before.
“Wherever I end up then hopefully they are going to have a good player on their hands and I can be a good addition to their club.
“It is a new chapter and an exciting one but also a sad and emotional time but that is football and I knew this day would come.
“You have to take it on the chin, thank the people who have given the opportunity to play for this great club, and move forward.
“Now the door has closed for me but I am looking for the next door to open and a new chapter in my career.”