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'A dream come true': Bangor's Andy Massey pays emotional tribute to Liverpool FC after leaving for FIFA

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Andy Massey (left), during his time with Liverpool, has recently started his new role as FIFA's Director of Medical services

Andy Massey (left), during his time with Liverpool, has recently started his new role as FIFA's Director of Medical services

PA

Andy Massey (left), during his time with Liverpool, has recently started his new role as FIFA's Director of Medical services

Bangor man Andy Massey has penned a heartfelt tribute to Liverpool FC on the day he leaves the club.

The man dubbed Jurgen Klopp's 'Master of Medicine' is leaving Anfield to become director of medical at FIFA.

The former Linfield and Northern Ireland team doctor joined the European champions as an academy doctor in 2013 and quickly rose through the ranks, promoted to the first team two years later.

He is credited with a key role in enabling the Liverpool players to carry out Jurgen Klopp's high-energy style.

Early in Klopp's reign at Anfield, the squad struggled with the new demands but Massey is understood to have had a significant impact in helping the players to adjust.

Now he is off to lead Fifa's medical and anti-doping team and has been quick to pay tribute to the club he is leaving.

"Seven years ago I made one of the best decisions of my life, in accepting a job offer at Liverpool FC," he wrote. "Over those seven years I have been fortunate to do a job I love for a club I have grown to love.

"To all the supporters, you made every game an aspiration come true for me. There are not many people who get to work in their dream job in front of a crowd that generate such an atmosphere. It has given me experiences and memories I will cherish.

"To Jurgen and his coaches, what an amazing group you guys are. Your dedication and knowledge is only matched by your humility and humour. I hope I have made friends for life, you all have my utmost respect and my thanks for allowing me to come on such a journey with you.

"To the players, past and present, genuinely you have made my job as easy as it could be, for this I am eternally thankful.

"To the current squad, wow. I hope the success continues as a reward for the enthusiasm I have witnessed in every training session day in and day out. You have taken commitment to a new level, and I am in awe of you all.

"Thank you LFC, it has been a dream come true. YNWA."

Massey, a former schoolboy international who played Irish League football for Bangor and Linfield, began his medical career with the Adelaide Crows Australian football team Down Under.

On returning home, he worked for the Belfast Giants, initially as a physiotherapist. After graduating from Queen's University, he was appointed as the Giants' team doctor.

He would make his move into football in 2009, appointed Northern Ireland's national team doctor while also fulfilling similar duties at Linfield before moving to Anfield.

Liverpool are expected to replace Massey with Arsenal doctor Gary O'Driscoll - cousin of former Ireland Rugby captain Brian O'Driscoll.

Before moving to London, he spent six years as doctor for the Irish Rugby team, during which time he was the Official Doctor on two British and Irish Lions tours.

Belfast Telegraph