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Zimbabwean defender Tendayi Darikwa to leave relegated Wigan Athletic

Zimbabwean international defender Tendayi Darikwa has parted ways with Wigan Athletic after spending two-and-a-half seasons at the DW Stadium, both the club and the player have confirmed.

The 31-year-old Wigan captain will officially leave the Latics when his contract expires on 30 June 2023.

“Wigan Athletic can confirm that captain Tendayi Darikwa will leave the Football Club at the end of his existing contract on 30 June 2023, following two-and-a-half season at the DW Stadium,” the club tweeted on Tuesday.

Darikwa made 116 appearance for the Latics and scored twice after joining the English lower side from Nottingham Forest in January 2021.

He memorably captained Wigan to the League One title in 2021/22, just twelve months after he had helped the club to avoid relegation to the fourth tier.

Wigan also commended Darikwa for his philanthropy works including: “extremely proactive approach to give back to the local community” and “participating in a number of initiatives hosted by Wigan Athletic Community Trust” as well as “the annual Christmas visits and joining in at soccer camps across the Wigan Borough.”

Furthermore, the club thanked Darikwa for representing them: “with pride both on and off the field throughout his time at the DW Stadium.”

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Wigan added in their statement: “We would like to place on record our thanks to Tendayi Darikwa for his efforts and wish him well in the future.”

The Warriors defender also confirmed his departure on his Twitter account.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce that I have played my last game for Wigan Athletic. I leave with nothing but respect for my teammates and the people who helped me along the way.

“I hope things move in a more positive direction off the pitch. Wigan is such a fantastic club, and I would love nothing more than to see my teammates get treated with the honesty and respect they deserve,” read his tweet.

“Thank you to the fans for the support you have shown me, my teammates and the hard-working staff. I wish you all nothing but success for the club in the future.”

Darikwa leaves at a time Wigan were relegated back to League One from the Championship in the just ended English Football League [EFL] Championship.

The versatile player acknowledges that: “This season (2022/23 campaign) has been difficult; we worked as hard as we physically could and didn’t achieve what we set out to do.

“That’s football, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. But we gave it everything and left it all out there on the pitch,” the 31-year-old added.