A FOOTBALLER who carved his name into 'Stoke history has announced his departure from the club, after a remarkable five years.

Brad Wilson joined Basingstoke Town Football Club in November 2019, after leaving Fleet Town. Following a brief spell in Australia with G.V Suns, Wilson returned to 'Stoke and quickly became a fan-favourite player.

A winger by trade, Wilson was a regular starter in manager Dan Brownlie's starting XI, racking up a total of 99 goals in his tenure.

In his best season at 'Stoke, Wilson tallied an impressive 30 league goals during the 2022/23 campaign.

READ MORE: 10 man 'Stoke beat Romsey to lift North Hants cup for second year in a row

Basingstoke Gazette: Brad Wilson after 'Stoke beat AFC Bournemouth 1-0 in the Hampshire Cup Final at Fratton ParkBrad Wilson after 'Stoke beat AFC Bournemouth 1-0 in the Hampshire Cup Final at Fratton Park (Image: Steve Gridley)

Known for scoring spectacular goals, Wilson's final gift to 'Stoke was smashing in a stunning 30-yard strike in the North Hants Cup Final, helping the club to secure its fourth trophy in two seasons.

Among his memorable goals, his 20-yard volley against Sutton Common Rovers stands out. A remarkable strike. He also scored two crucial goals on the final day of the 2022/23 league season, clinching a dramatic league title for 'Stoke in what would become a treble-winning season.

But many will remember with the greatest fondness his last-minute winner in the Hampshire Cup Final against Bournemouth at Fratton Park, a goal which will remain in 'Stoke folklore for years to come.

In a statement released on the club's website, Wilson said: "My time at Basingstoke has finally come to an end.  It feels weird even typing it out.

"We all go through changes in life, and there’s been a fair few in mine. As such; I’m looking to move back to London to be closer to family and friends.

"Whilst it will take a bit of time to organise, I don’t want to leave the club mid-season – it wouldn’t be fair on anyone.

SEE ALSO: Treble glory as 'Stoke make history beating Bournemouth to win Hampshire Cup

"The club has given me the best memories of my life to-date playing sports and I’m so proud and happy to have been apart of it.

"It’s hard to put into words the gratitude I have, not only for the club but for everyone involved in it.

"From the Chairman to the back office, to the management and players – but most importantly the fans. You’ve made my time at this club so incredible.

"Hopefully my involvement gave you a few lasting memories along the way. It really is such a special club."

Manager Dan Brownlie said: "It's important to remember that Brad joined us during our darkest period. I’m incredibly proud of his development both on and off the pitch.

"When you compare the boy who walked through our doors to the man that now walks out of them – they’re almost unrecognisable. His trajectory over the years is something he and we should be really proud of.

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"He was formidable during our treble-winning year and because of it – his name will remain on the lips of supporters for decades.

"He’ll go down as one of our most important players. Awful tweeter, terrible singing voice but the kid can play football.

"He leaves on the best of terms with everyone at the club. I know how much he loves this Club and the people within it.

"Who knows what the future holds; and maybe one day we’ll see him again so he can chase down the club's top scorer record."

Readers can find the full departure messages here: btfc.co.uk/updates/a-fond-farewell-brad-wilson