Kirk out

Chris Kirkland

Chris Kirkland

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CHRIS Kirkland admits he’ll be taking only fond memories of Wigan with him as he prepares to move to pastures new.

The former England goalkeeper’s contract expires this summer and – along with Hugo Rodallega, Hendry Thomas, Momo Diame and Steve Gohouri – will be moving on.

Kirkland’s six years with Wigan can probably be assessed in two parts – four years of being undisputed No.1 under three different managers, before becoming a frustrated spectator for the last two.

The incredible consistency of Ali Al Habsi and a succession of niggling injuries put paid to any hopes Kirkland had of forcing his way back in.

But he insists the last couple of years hasn’t take the gloss off an enjoyable and rewarding chapter of his career.

“I’m very sad to be going because I’ve had some fantastic times at Wigan,” he said.

“But that’s the way things happen. I’d just like to thank the fans for all their support down the years. I know it’s been probably as frustrating for them as it has been for me, but they’ve always been good to me.

“The last two years have obviously been hard for me. But I’ve loved it on the whole.

READ THE FULL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW IN THE WIGAN OBSERVER ...