Jude Bellingham was subjected to a high profile transfer to Bundesliga’s Borussia Dortmund which became the record signing for a 17-year-old as the move involved a £26 million transfer fee. After the departure of the teenager, his former side Birmingham City announced that they would be retiring the No.22 jersey in his honour.
The midfielder garnered a lot of interest from Europe’s top clubs with Manchester United touted as the early favourites to acquire the services.
However, Jude Bellingham proceeded to choose the Bundesliga outfit and played his final game for the Championship side against Derby County. The tearful farewell saw Bellingham say his final goodbyes to teammates and staff before proceeding to sit on the pitch all alone.
Bellingham later stated that the decision to leave his boyhood club was a difficult one. He said:
“I do love the club and I struggle to hide how much this club means to me. I just hope the fans have enjoyed seeing me play,”
“It will always have a massive place in my heart because it’s my club and the club I support, and it’s been a privilege.”
Birmingham City wants youngsters to be inspired by Bellingham
Jude Bellingham made it into the first team at the raw age of 16 years and 38 days. He managed to score 4 goals in the 44 appearances that he managed for the club.
The youngster who has been with the club since seven and made his senior debut against Portsmouth in the first round of the EFL Cup.
Forever our #22.
Good luck at @BVB, Jude! 👊
— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) July 23, 2020
The club statement read:
“In such a remarkably short space of time, Jude has become an iconic figure at Blues, showing what can be achieved through talent, hard work and dedication.
“His caring, humble and engaging off-the-field demeanour has also made him such an impressive role model.’
“The 22 shirt has become synonymous with Jude, his rise to the first team aged just 16 years and 38 days and these qualities.
“And as such the Club have decided it would be fitting to retire this number, to remember one of our own and to inspire others.”
The move to retire the jersey has not gone down well with the fans who claim the move to be “ridiculous”. Bellingham was also subjected to racial abuse after his move where people called him an “overrated talent” and much more hurtful comments.