May 29, 2015 12:07:53 UK
Carlton Cole insists West Ham United will always have a place in his heart after being released by the club for a second time.
The 31-year-old is one of four senior professionals that have not had their contracts renewed, with Guy Demel, Jussi Jaaskelainen and Nene all set to leave the club when their contracts expire at the end of next month.
Cole was initially released by the club at the end of the 2012/13 season, but was handed a new Upton Park contract in October 2013 after then boss Sam Allardyce had failed with several bids for other strikers.
Since making his Hammers debut almost nine years ago, Cole scored 68 goals in 293 appearances for the club with his most productive season coming in 2011/12 when he found the net 14 times in 40 league matches.
I have enjoyed every game I have played for West Ham.
Cole, who has represented England seven times, said: “I’ve been at West Ham United for quite a long time and I’ve enjoyed myself here, with all the ups and downs, the heartaches and everything that came along with it.
“I’m very happy to have been a part of it and, wherever my future may lie, West Ham will always have a special place in my heart.
“I have enjoyed every game I have played for West Ham but all good things have to come to an end and I will be leaving. When I think of West Ham United I think of a family football club which has embraced me and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
“I’m looking forward to my next adventure now.”
Slaven Bilic is 1.72 to be West Ham’s next permanent manager, while Steve McClaren can be backed at 26.00.
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