He was the unlikely hero who inspired tens of Leeds United fans all over the globe with his rags to riches story. But now Gary Hopping has left the Wilko Wilkes catalogue by mutual consent.
The mysterious goalkeeper made his debut in October 2019, famously becoming the first player in Wilko Wilkes history. He made over 1000 appearances on Facebook, 400 on Youtube, and won 197 caps for Spotify. The highlight of his career was being played in the fanzone at Elland Road before a Leeds Utd match in 2020.
His stats left a lot to be desired and there were accusations from colleagues that he wasn’t pulling his weight. Some blamed his confusing playing style, whilst others lamented his lack of pace.
Hopping’s career was dogged by controversy, with some claiming that the player never really fitted in with the rest of the squad. There were suggestions of him being the class clown and a disturbing influence in the dressing room.
Although backed by a small number of dedicated fans, there was a growing feeling within the Wilko Wilkes camp that something wasn’t right.
Statement from Wilko Wilkes:
“Gary is a good man and he has been an excellent servant for me, it’s nothing against his character but we had a few differences of opinion and both agreed it was time for him to leave. There’s no hard feelings and we hope to see him again in the future, we’ve just gone in different directions so we felt a break was best for all concerned.”
When asked if this is the last the world will see of Gary Hopping, Wilkes remarked “In the words of the late, great Sir Bobby Robson – it’s farewell, not goodbye”, before winking cryptically.