A goodbye letter from Jordan Nobbs

Jordan Nobbs kisses the WSL Trophy

After 12 incredible years, 270 appearances and 81 goals, we say goodbye to a true club legend: Jordan Nobbs.

Today, it was announced that our number 8 will be leaving to join Aston Villa on a permanent transfer. Here is Jordan's goodbye to the Arsenal family, in her own words.

When I think back to first arriving at Arsenal, I never could have dreamed that this would be my home for the next 12 years.

That first day is something I will never forget. I knew I was leaving a club that I love in Sunderland, but as soon as I came to Arsenal, I said ‘Dad, this is exactly where I want to be.’

Growing up, I always looked up to the Arsenal legends and thought I want to be one of them. I wanted to be one of those players who goes down in history and leaves something behind. Something that means more. Because for me, that’s what football is all about.

Trophies, titles and honours are what’s expected at this club and it’s something I’ve always given everything to achieve, but being able to call Arsenal my home and to create a special connection with the fans is something I’m incredibly proud of.

People often ask me, ‘What’s been your favourite moment at Arsenal?’. But I’ve never been able to pick one. How could I? My first game was an honour, every single trophy was perfect, wearing the captain’s armband filled me with pride, and I’ve met so many special teammates who I can genuinely call friends for life.

Katie McCabe, Jordan Nobbs and Beth Mead laugh on the training ground

It’s been a crazy journey and I’m so proud that I’ve been able to see all the ups and downs, all the development and growth, and to really be able to say that I’ve been a part of it. People say ‘It’s only football’ but I’ve given every single part of my life to this club. Arsenal will always be my home. Arsenal will always be my family.

From the minute I came here at 17, every part of me was dedicated to this club and working hard to become one of the best players Arsenal has ever seen. How do I become the next Jayne Ludlow? The next Kelly Smith? And how do I keep up with Kim Little?

Every single time I put on that shirt, I gave so much of my life to it because I knew how important it was to play for this club, and I knew how much passion and love was in the girls when I first arrived. To know I’ve played my part in creating that legacy is something really special.

If I’m being completely honest, I’m finding it really hard to talk about all of this right now. There’s so much for me to look back on and writing this has dug up a lot of really special, important and emotional memories. I’ve cried a lot over the past few days because I knew this was coming and now the reality of it all is really settling in. There’s a saying that you shouldn’t cry because it’s over, you should smile because it happened, but I’m allowed to do both, right?

Kim Little and Jordan Nobbs celebrate a goal in the Arsenal away kit

I said my goodbyes to my teammates on Tuesday and I cried from the second I walked in, to the second I left, because this is my home. It’s everything I’ve known for the past 12 years and now I’m having to say goodbye. I know it’s not really goodbye, but this part of my life is over now and it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

I’m leaving the love of my life behind and that’s something really quite scary for me. But I’ve got no regrets in my mind because it’s been the perfect fairytale and I’ve achieved everything I ever wanted to and a whole lot more. 270 appearances, 81 goals, three WSL titles, four FA Cups? Where did the time go? I think a 17-year-old Jordan would have been very happy with that. It’s very rare these days to stay at a club for such a long time, and quite simply, there’s no other club I would have rather done it at.

And to you, the fans, you honestly mean everything to me. You’ve all been such a key part of my life and I’ve wanted to go around and say thank you to each and every one of you because it’s a family here and we’re all part of the ups and downs together. The past year and a half have been difficult for me, you all know that, but there’s never been a moment where I haven’t felt loved and appreciated, and I think that’s all you can ever ask for in this world.

Jordan Nobbs takes a selfie with Arsenal supporters at Meadow Park

I’ve always heard you shouting my name from the stands, and the love you show me on social media is incredible too. Without you, my journey wouldn't have been the same. It’s going to be really hard for me to come back to Meadow Park soon, but the main thing I want to go there for is to say thank you and show my love, because you’ve shown me so much over the past 12 years.

From the bottom of my heart, I just really hope that you will all remember me as a player who wore their heart on their sleeve and would give anything to play for Arsenal. Hopefully, I’ve been someone that when you think of Arsenal, you think of my name because of what I’ve done and given on the pitch because that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

There was never going to be an easy way for me to leave Arsenal. It was always going to hurt. But I know I’m leaving with my head held high because there was never a moment that I didn’t give my all for this football club.

I’ve had the time of my life here, and if you’re reading this, you’ve played a massive part in making this journey so special to me.

I will always love this football club.

Thank you, Arsenal, for everything,

Jordan Nobbs

Jordan Nobbs
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