Michael Dawson’s second stint at Nottingham Forest – and perhaps his playing career – has come to an end after his inclusion in the club’s released list.
It was to be expected after not making an appearance all season, but the 37-year-old has exited the Tricky Trees three years after returning to his boyhood club in 2018.
Dawson arrived at the club as a child and progressed through their academy, signing a professional contract in 2000 and made his senior bow in 2002, and it wasn’t long after that when he was an established regular alongside former England international Des Walker.
Excellent performances led to Dawson earning a move in 2005 to Tottenham Hotspur along with Andy Reid, and he remained at White Hart Lane for nine years, eventually becoming their captain and a rock-solid stalwart at the back.
Following a stint at Hull City, Dawson returned ‘home’ to Forest three years ago and despite only having 28 Championship outings since then, he’s remained a key figure in the dressing room.
The signs were all there though for his departure after a minute-less season and unable to give his farewell in person to supporters, Dawson has penned a message following the end of his second stint.
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“It’s been frustrating that I haven’t been able to say goodbye to the fans in person but I hope to be back at the City Ground again very soon,” Dawson told Forest’s official website.
“Forest has been a massive part of my life since I first put the shirt on at the age of 9. It will always be close to my heart and I leave with some fantastic memories.
“To start as a schoolboy, get in the first team under Paul Hart and then be able to come back later in my career has been a dream come true.”
Dawson probably returned to Forest a couple of years too late, but when he moved to Hull City in 2014 he was still a Premier League quality defender whilst the Reds were trying to get back to the top flight without success.
It was because of his advancing years that he didn’t get a look in this past season, but he will have been more than just a player during his second stint.
Dawson is a natural born leader and you’d imagine that he will take his talents to the coaching side of the game very soon, unless he believes that he has a year left at another club but it would be fitting if his final game came in a Forest shirt.