Stalwart White Departs For Roots Hall
Club stalwart John White sadly departed the U's in recent weeks when tight budget constraints left Joe Dunne unable to offer the versatile defender a notable enough deal to remain with the club.
White joined Matt Heath in the departing out-of-contract players this summer, although the full-back was offered a new package in May that was substantially reduced on his existing deal.
White had grown up with the club's youth academy before Phil Parkinson handed him his Football League debut at the age of eighteen as the U's romped home to a 4-1 victory over Doncaster, making twenty-four appearances in his maiden season before featuring forty-one times as the U's achieved an unlikely promotion to the Championship.
The full-back featured in thirty-seven Championship matches during the club's two-year stint in the second tier, and departs the club having racked up over two-hundred and fifty appearances in all competitions for his home club.
U's boss Joe Dunne revealed to the official site: 'It was a contract that would have seen his salary reduced but that is something that is happening pretty much across the board.
'John has been a fantastic servant for the club and an extremely versatile member of the squad - we wish him all the best wherever he plays.'
White has since signed a two-year deal with Essex rivals Southend, having previously enjoyed a successful loan spell at Roots Hall in 2009 when being frozen out by Paul Lambert.
But White's versatility was often key to his U's appearances, becoming known as the handy player to fit in whenever holes were left throughout the back four - exemplified by his sterling performances at centre half towards the end of the campaign.
Speaking to BBC Essex back in February, Dunne's admiration for White was evident and it is clear that the Irishman would have liked more budget to keep hold of the full-back.
'John is one of our own; he's born and bred through our system and I was John's youth team manager in his third year,' Dunne admitted back then. 'He is the kind of player that every squad needs.'
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