Blyth Spartans are sad to announce the departure of popular defender Ryan Hutchinson who is joining Morpeth Town.
The 26-year-old spent seven seasons at Croft Park having first joined from Seaton Delaval in 2013.
Initially arriving as a midfielder, Hutchy made his debut at Matlock Town in April 2014 before netting his first goal during a 2-1 win over Halesowen Town in August of the same year.
Hutchy was a key member of the squad that made it all the way to the FA Cup third round – famously beating Hartlepool United to set up a home tie with Championship outfit Birmingham City.
The former St Johnstone youngster stayed loyal to Blyth and it was his partnership with Nathan Buddle that helped the club return to National League North in 2017.
It was in the same campaign Alun Armstrong led Spartans to an Evo-Stik Premier and Northumberland Senior Cup double – where Hutchy scored in the 3-2 win against North Shields at St James’ Park.
Sadly, months after Hutchy was proudly called up for England C duty, a serious knee injury at Harrogate Town in April 2018 ruled him out of the entire 2018/19 season.
Hutchy was still recognised for his fine efforts as Blyth narrowly missed out on the play-offs by receiving the Cannock Spartans Player of the Year award.
Supporters kindly donated money to our CrowdFund page to help fund Hutchy’s operation as he battled back in time for pre-season last June.
He got a full pre-season under his belt and made his long-awaited comeback against York City in August, a beautiful sight for all those at Croft Park.
Unfortunately, hamstring injuries halted Hutchy’s progress in the early part of the season but he regained full fitness to play a vital part in Spartans’ festive fixtures in an unfavoured left-back position due to Anthony Callaghan’s injury.
In total, Hutchy featured 188 times for Blyth and scored nine goals.
Vice-chairman Kevin Scott said: “He’s been one helluva player for us. He puts his heart and soul into everything – not just on the pitch but off the pitch.
“He was always the first lad to carry the bags off the bus and it is just an all-round friendly guy.
“When he got that bad injury at Harrogate, he obviously struggled but we stuck by him and he stuck by us.
“To say he is one of the fixtures and fittings is an understatement. He’s a genuine lad – so much so that he didn’t want to sign a contract at the beginning of the season in case he got injured again. He wanted to prove himself.
“He seems to have come along leaps and bounds but football isn’t there forever for an individual and Ryan has moved on.
“As a young lad playing in the FA Cup, he wasn’t fazed – he was steady as a rock and put his heart and soul into this football club.
“I wish him well because he is one helluva lad, one helluva player and just one helluva personality.”
Blyth Spartans wholeheartedly thank Ryan for his outstanding effort and commitment to the club over the last seven seasons and wish him the upmost best for the future