Phil Parkinson saluted “superb role model” Gary Jones as the evergreen skipper was added to the City summer cull.
Jones, who turns 37 next month, became the latest out-of-contract player to be told that he was not in Parkinson’s plans for next season.
But the all-action midfielder follows Garry Thompson, Matthew Bates and Andrew Gray through the Valley Parade exit with a ringing endorsement from his manager.
Parkinson, who confirmed the news to his captain yesterday that there would be no fresh deal on offer, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his enormous contribution to the club over the last two seasons.
“Two years ago we went out in search of players who had the right mentality and character to get the club going again. Gary Jones typified absolutely everything we were looking for.
“He has been a superb role model for our younger players and he has put his heart and soul into the club every single day for the last two years.”
Jones made exactly 100 appearances in his two terms with City – the last of them at Tranmere a week ago. He also scored eight goals.
Ever-present Stephen Darby was the only outfield player to start more games in City’s first year back in League One.
Jones is now only ten games short of reaching 700 in his career and Parkinson believes there is still plenty more left in the tank. He is unlikely to be short of offers.
The Bantams boss said: “I can’t speak highly enough of him both as a person and as a player.
“I wish him all the very best for the future and I’m sure the fans will be quick to do likewise.
“I’m confident that there are still many more games left in Gary before he finally decides to hang up his boots.”
Jones has become an iconic figure with the fans, who saw him as the heartbeat of a team that transformed the club’s fortunes after years of disappointment.
“What can you not like about playing for this football club?” he said in a recent interview.
“You want to turn out and show everybody what it means to wear a Bradford City shirt. It’s the be all and end all for me and every time I play, I want to do my best.
“I’d like to carry on playing. You never know what’s round the corner in football but I feel fine.”