Harlow Town have confirmed that Alex Read will leave the club this summer after five successful years with the Hawks.
He has come to the end of his contract, and agreed terms with another Bostik League Premier Division club, for whom he is set to be unveiled on Monday.
Read joined the Hawks in July 2013 and has gone on to be one of the club’s most prolific strikers. In his first season he scored an incredible 52 league and cup goals, breaking a 25-year old club record for the number of goals in one season. The next season produced 42 goals, followed by another 38 goals in the 2015-16 season as he helped propel the Hawks back to the Isthmian League Premier Division.
He became only the second Harlow Town player to surpass a century of goals, and in total scored 178 goals in just 278 appearances in a Harlow shirt. He is now second on the all-time scorers list behind Marc Salmon (198), and his exploits in front of goal have earned him legendary status among the Harlow Town supporters.
Commenting on his departure, Harlow Town FC boss Danny Chapman said: “It’s been a pleasure working with Alex over the past five years, and I’d like to thank him for everything he’s given during his time with the club. I wish him all the best for the future.”
Read has issued a message to supporters following his departure. He said: “Saying goodbye is never easy and after 5 years I’ve made the rather emotional decision to leave Harlow Town FC. The club has been a massive part of my life for 5 years. There have been some glorious highs that have majorly outweighed the lows and I’ve been blown away over the years by the support I’ve received and friendships I’ve made throughout my time at the club. I’ve developed as a person and a player and there is no doubt I will miss everything about the place.
“It’s been a privilege to represent Harlow for so long whereby I’ve achieved more than the average part-time player. I’ve enjoyed every minute playing for the club even through the difficult season we experienced last year.
“It’s been a huge honour wearing the club’s number 9 shirt for so long and I’ve always given my best and tried to lead by example. I’ve been very fortunate to play alongside some very talented players (friends) who I’ll always hold a special bond with. They have helped me develop and I hope I have had the same affect on them. So to my brothers in the team I thank you and I wish you all every success in the world.
“I would especially like to thank Danny, Spencer and Tom for embracing me at the club for so long. From the moment I arrrived they have been committed to the club and myself succeeding, always trying to spearhead the club in the right direction. Any player should feel privileged to play at the club.
“The support from the ultras over the 5 years has been unprecedented and if I could take you all with me I would. The encouragement and loyalty from fans has been something I will always cherish. It will be a weird feeling not seeing Buddha in his yellow Harlow top at every game. The love I have for the fans is unquestionable and I thank you for every song you’ve sung since I’ve been involved with the team.
“However, the time has come for me to take up a new challenge and try to emulate the success I’ve had at Harlow. I hope to get the opportunity to come back and serve the club again one day. I feel that I can make a contribution in some role in the future. So hopefully this isn’t goodbye but a see you soon. The Machine”.