David Wetherall is ending a 12-year era at City after accepting a new job with the Football League.

Wetherall has been appointed the league’s head of youth development and will take up the post at their Preston headquarters next month.

The 40-year-old joined the Bantams for £1.4m from Leeds in June 1999 ahead of the club’s first season in the Premier League.

He made 330 appearances at centre half for City, despite suffering a couple of serious injuries, before hanging up his boots in May 2008. He scored 21 goals - including the famous header against Liverpool which ensured the club stayed up in the top flight.

Wetherall had a spell as caretaker manager while still playing, reluctantly taking the reins when Colin Todd was sacked in February 2007. But he was unable to prevent the club from relegation to the bottom division.

He has run the youth team for the past two seasons, flourishing in the role, before earning the chance to work for the league.

Wetherall said: "It was a difficult decision to leave because I’ve developed a great affinity for the place.

"But this is a top job in youth development football. These opportunities don’t come along very often and it is something I couldn’t afford to turn down."