Hunslet captain George Flanagan has left the club to join Bradford Bulls.
Flanagan was halfway through a two-year contract and had attracted interest from Bulls head coach John Kear and Hunslet received a formal approach early last week. A club statement read: “The coaching staff and the board of directors were adamant they wanted George to honour his contract for the remainder of the 2018 season.
“However, George made it clear that he wanted this move to happen to fulfil his dream of returning to play for his hometown club.
“The club are extremely disappointed to lose the services of our captain and fans’ favourite but we were left with no other option than to allow him to leave after agreeing a compensation package with the former World Club Champions.”
Flanagan joined Hunslet from Featherstone at the start of 2015 and went on to score 46 tries in 68 appearances.
On his departure, Flanagan said: “It is with a heavy heart that my time at Hunslet has now ended and I have the best memories of my career to date at the club. My family and I have been made so welcome and I’ve had the honour to captain this great club.
“The fans are so passionate and I have a great relationship with them, but the opportunity to move back to my hometown club where it all started for me as a 13-year-old boy was too good to turn down.”
He added: “Darren Williams (football manager), Gary Thornton (head coach) plus the the club’s chairman and CEO all tried their best to keep me at the club but it was my decision to leave.
“If the approach was from any other club I wouldn’t even have given it a second thought and would have stayed at Hunslet.
“Hunslet will have a place in my heart forever; I have made some lifelong friends who I will cherish and I wish the club all the best for the future.”