Long-serving player Mick Ede (Jnr) has this week called time on his 17-year career with the club.

Mick has been Manager Damian Grocott's Assistant this season, but the 35-year old has also played a handful of games to bring his total appearances for the club up to a massive 611, and he has scored 53 goals along the way to boot.

His first game for the Romans came on 11th May 1989, just a few days after his 18th birthday, in a 4-3 win at Tividale in a West Midlands League match, and his last was as a substitute in the recent F.A. Vase defeat against Friar Lane & Epworth.

After speaking to the players and staff after Saturday's F.A. Cup game at Gedling Town, Mick has asked me to publish the following letter from him on the website and in next Saturday's match programme:

Dear Romans,

As many of you will already know, I have been offered the chance to continue my coaching at a professional level along with Paul. This kind of opportunity doesn't come along too often in my experience and I am trying to grasp it with both hands.

At this moment in time there are simply not enough hours in a day for me to work full time, coach football every night of the week and also spend time with my family, which I have recently been trying to do.

It is a very difficult decision, but I have decided to stand down from the Rocester staff in all capacities.

I’m not saying that I will not be a part of Rocester Football Club in the future, but for now my priority has to be with my family, work and the new coaching position I have been offered.

After playing at Rocester for more years than some of the current squad have been alive, it is not just the highs and lows of football but also the people I have spent so long with that make it so hard to let go.

I would at this time, like to thank all the back room staff at the club, especially Mr. Rocester - Gilbert - without whom the club would not have survived, and of course all the fans, who haven’t been too harsh on me over the years.

To the players and new management team; I hope the cup results will lead to better league results, have a good season - I will be keeping an eye on the results!

Lastly, I just hope that the football continues to improve and some of the successes that we have enjoyed over the years return back to the club. With the inclusion of Elkes Eagles I know we will reap the benefits. Watch out in a few years time!

Come on you Romans!!

Mick Ede (jnr)

On behalf of everyone connected with Rocester Football Club I would like to wish Mick every success with his coaching at Port Vale, and place on record our thanks and appreciation for the fantastic service and loyalty he has given to the club over the years.