There was a huge amount of excitement when David joined the club from Bolton on 1 August 2019 and he was immediately made captain for the 2019/20 season. He came with a wealth of experience after playing for Middlesbrough, Doncaster (loan), Wolves (loan), Darlington (loan) & Bolton Wanderers. He went on to make 34 appearances in his first year with the club, scoring 4 goals in that time.
Following numerous rumours that gathered strength over the summer of 2020, we pushed for the club to address this matter and on 21/09/2020 a statement was released to state that both David Wheater (and colleague Gary Woods) would “no longer be a part of the First Team squad”.
On 30/10/2020, PTB launched the campaign to “Freewheatz” and as a fanbase we tried valiantly to get David back in contention for selection for the first team. This was even more pertinent at a time when we were conceding goals at an alarming rate and David’s experience at leading a backline was sorely missed. This campaign received national attention and this is something that as fans, we should be incredibly proud of.
After a long line of player disputes at the club in recent times, we can only hope that in future, disputes of this nature and longevity, can be kept to the bare minimum and resolved quickly and professionally. We have already placed on record our disappointment at how the entire matter was handled by the club over the last 6 months and we can only hope that lessons have been learnt from all concerned.
We thank David for the professionalism he showed throughout, at what must have been incredibly difficult circumstances for him personally, not being offered the opportunity to play regular first team football since he started his professional playing career in 2005/06. While it is certainly not the outcome we wanted in terms of the players future with our club, we are very happy that the matter has now been resolved and that both parties, especially David & his family, can move on and David can enjoy the remainder of his career elsewhere.
Reclaim The Faith