Last night, Nantwich Town Football Club agreed to allow midfielder Matt Bell to transfer his registration to Leek Town with immediate effect.

The transfer should allow Matt to be registered in time for Leek Town’s Buildbase FA Trophy First Round Qualifying tie with Chasetown tomorrow afternoon.

‘Belly’ as he is fondly known as, scored 31 times in 199 appearances since making his debut in the 6-3 league victory against Stamford back in August 2015, after signing from Kidsgrove Athletic during pre-season.

Along with some outstanding performnces from the middle of the park, Matt also captained the club on a number of occassions, including in the Emirates FA Cup First Round Proper tie away at Stevenage in the 2017-18 season – the second ever time the Dabbers had made it to that stage of the cup.

Dave Cooke had the following words about Matt.

“Watching Nantwich as a supporter for the two years before becoming manager, it was obvious that Matt Bell was one of the best players in the team.

“When I took over with only having three or four players left, Matt showed his loyalty to stay with the club, when he could have maybe followed Phil Parkinson to Altrincham or move to other clubs.

“If Matt had gone it would have made my task even more difficult to have success in that season. In the four years and a bit he’s spent at the club it has been some of the most successful times this club has ever seen, and Matt has been pivotal to that success.

“Matt has been a favourite amongst his teammates, the supporters and everyone else connected at the club, and that is a testament to Matt as a footballer and a person.

“Unfortunately, there are always times when players look for new horizons. Matt feels it is now his time to move on so he can get back playing regular football, and it’s been a bit stop-start for him this season and we understand it has been frustrating for him.

“I would like to thank him for his services and wish him all the best for the future as well as everyone else connected with Nantwich Town Football Club”

Secretary Carl Thorpe also had the following words.

“It is always sad to see a long-standing player of Nantwich Town Football Club leave, ‘Belly’ has been instrumental in one of the most successful periods of the clubs history in modern times.

“I’ve been fortunate to have witnessed every single one of his 199 appearances for the club, and he will no doubt be remembered as one of the greats for Nantwich Town.

“Although it is sad to see him leave the club one short of the 200 appearance mark, it is his achievements that will speak loudly of what he has done for our football club.

“Belly has been part of two top 5 finishes in the League, reached the FA Trophy Semi-Final, helped the club reach the FA Cup First Round Proper on two occasions and reached three Cheshire Senior Cup Finals, being victorious and scoring in two of them.

“Matt has also been voted Player of the Season, and who can’t forget his wonderful free-kick against Scarborough at home last season!

“On a lighter note, my Flat Cap is probably a bit safer now with ‘Belly’ not around to nick it as he has done on occasions, but I will miss his pranks on me for sure. I just want to thank ‘Belly’ for the great times we’ve had and his service to the club, and I wish him all the very best in his next chapter with Leek Town.”

Once again, the club would like to place on record its thanks to Matt for his four-and-a-half years worth of service and wish him the very best of luck in his future endeavours.