The Western Sydney Wanderers will this weekend farewell Wanderers legend Mark Bridge who is set to retire from the professional game at the end of the season.
Born and bred in Western Sydney, Bridge is a Wanderers foundation player having joined the club in June 2012.
Making his debut in the Wanderers first ever match, Bridge scored the club’s first ever goal against Brisbane Roar on his way to winning the Wanderers Medal for Player of the Year, Golden Boot and Premiers Plate all his first season at the club.
In 2014, Bridge went on to play a significant role as part of the first ever Australian side to win the AFC Champions League before winning his second Wanderers Medal for Player of the Year at the end of the 2015/16 season.
Bridge has played a total of six seasons with the Red & Black and is one of the most decorated players in Wanderers history, having scored 38 goals across all competitions and is now the most capped Wanderers player of all time with 140 appearances to his name.
The much-loved striker is the only player to have won the Wanderers Medal for Player of the Year on two separate occasions.
Featuring in 250 Hyundai A-League matches and scoring 59 goals, “King Bridge” (proudly named by Wanderers members and fans) will leave a lasting legacy from his tenure with the Red & Black.
The Wanderers will celebrate and farewell Bridge in the club’s final home fixture at ANZ Stadium against Melbourne Victory this Saturday night.
Wanderers legend Mark Bridge said that the club would forever be in his heart.
“It has been a crazy journey at the Wanderers and there is no other club I would rather be at to hang up my Hyundai A-League boots,” said Bridge.
“I’ve shared some great memories at the club from scoring our very first goal, winning the Premiers Plate in our inaugural season and who could forget that Asian Champions League win.
“I would like to thank the club, my family, friends, members and fans for their ongoing support during my career because without them I would have not been able to achieve the things I have achieved.
“A dream of mine would be that one of my boys, seeing as I’ve had three of them so surely one can play, will end up putting on a Wanderers jersey.
“The club will forever be in my heart and I will support the Wanderers until I die.”
Wanderers Chairman Paul Lederer said Bridge would remain a close friend to the club.
“Mark has been a wonderful leader within our group for many years and his contribution and many accolades will not be forgotten,” said Lederer.
“This is a player that has been a part of every success we have achieved at this club and we thank him for his contribution to the foundation years of this club.”
Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas praised Bridge’s contribution to the club and the Hyundai A-League.
“Mark’s professionalism, dedication and passion is indisputable and that is reflected in his playing record in the A-League where he has had success wherever he has been,” said Tsatsimas.
“However it is with the Western Sydney Wanderers, his hometown club, where his heart beat the strongest and he will forever be known for his contribution to this club in its establishment years and throughout its successes.
“We sincerely wish our first ever goal scorer all the very best in the next stage of his life with his family.”