Chairman Bill Kenwright has described Phil Jagielka as “one of Everton’s greatest servants” and a player who “embodies the spirit and values of the Blues” after it was confirmed the defender will depart the Club this summer.
Jagielka, who has spent 12 seasons at Goodison Park, including six in which he has served as Club captain, will leave when his contract expires at the end of June.
The 36-year-old made his 385th and final Everton appearance as a late substitute against Burnley at Goodison on May 3, four weeks after netting the winner in a celebrated 1-0 home victory over Arsenal.
Among his achievements, Jagielka will be fondly remembered for his FA Cup semi-final winning penalty against Manchester United in April 2009 and a stunning Merseyside derby equaliser at Anfield in September 2014, while he has also served as a long-time ambassador of the Club’s official charity, Everton in the Community.
"Jags’ is quite simply one of our greatest ever servants," said Kenwright.
"From the day he joined us in July 2007, he has epitomised what it is to be an Evertonian and will remain someone who embodies the spirit and values of the Blues.
"Who will ever forget that momentous afternoon at Wembley when he stepped up and slotted home the penalty to send us to the Cup final, or the day he scored one of the best Merseyside Derby goals of all time? And, of course, every Evertonian shared his pride when he became the first Everton player to lead out an England side back in 2015.
"As our captain and leader he has been a role model for the younger players coming through our ranks. Off the field he has always been a truly fantastic ambassador for our Club and a great supporter of our Charity.
"I know I speak for all Evertonians when I send ‘Jags’ our heartfelt thanks for everything he has done for our Club, on and off the pitch, and wish him well for the future."
Having been on Everton’s books as a youngster, Jagielka eventually made his breakthrough at Sheffield United in May 2000 and went on to play 287 times for the Blades, helping them earn promotion to the Premier League in 2005-06.
Neil Warnock’s side were relegated on the final day of the following campaign but Jagielka would remain in the top flight, returning to Everton in a £4million move that July.
His form during a debut season in which David Moyes’ Blues finished fifth in the league and reached the last 16 of the UEFA Cup saw Jagielka handed the first of 40 England caps against Trinidad and Tobago in June 2008.
The following April, the centre-back beat Manchester United’s Ben Foster at Wembley in a shootout to send Everton to a first FA Cup final in 14 years, only for a serious knee injury to rule him out of the side’s return to the national stadium to take on Chelsea.
Despite that, Jagielka was named the Club’s Player of the Season – an award he would claim again in 2014-15.
In his final campaign at Everton, Jagielka made seven first-team appearances, his experience helping Marco Silva’s side to four wins - including the aforementioned victory over Arsenal - and five clean sheets.
Everyone at Everton would like to place on record their sincerest thanks to Phil for his loyalty, dedication and leadership during his time with the Club and send him and his family the very best wishes for the future.