Marcus Bettinelli’s fifteen year spell at Fulham is over after the club confirmed this afternoon that the goalkeeper has left Craven Cottage after his contract expired at the end of June.
A popular member of the squad, Bettinelli came through the Fulham academy after joining the club aged fourteen and made his senior debut in the 1-0 League Cup win at Brentford in September 2014. He soon established himself as the club’s first choice goalkeeper under Kit Symons and fought back from a horror knee injury at Hull City to eventually edge out new signing David Button as Slavisa Jokanovic’s side went on a memorable 23-match unbeaten run.
Bettinelli kept a clean sheet at Wembley as the Whites went up by beating Aston Villa – making an excellent save from Jack Grealish – and earned an England call-up after briefly returning to the first team in the Premier League. He found first team opportunities tough to come by after that, making fourteen Championship starts before being replaced by Marek Rodak in 2020. He spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough and will now be looking for a new club.
Bettinelli told Fulham’s official website: “To have joined the academy at the age of 14 and gone on to make the memories I have and lived every boy’s dream is just unbelievable. To have worn the number one shirt is a massive thing for me. I feel extremely proud and extremely fortunate to have done that.
My time at Fulham was mad special. I’ve been a fan, I’ve sat in the seat of a fan when I was kid watching the first team play Juventus and stuff like that, so I’ve always had the club in my heart. To come through the academy and play on the pitch that I used to watch the likes of Mark Schwarzer on, will always be special to me. I started at the club as a boy and matured into a man, and made some incredible memories with the fans.
He picks out that the magical day at Wembley as the highlight of his Fulham career.
“Without a doubt. If you had said to a 14-year-old me that I would one day play at Wembley in front of the White Wall, I never would have believed you. So to have done that and then gone on to play in the Premier League at Craven Cottage was something so special and something that I’ll hold forever in my heart.
The day at Wembley was just ridiculous but, strangely, the day we played Burnley at home in the Prem was a really emotional day. Because I’d always watched Fulham in the Premier League growing up, to then represent us in the Premier League having come through the academy, that day will always be special.”
Bettinelli also had a moving message for the Fulham fans, with whom he has always enjoyed a special relationship:
“I just want to say a massive thank you to them. They’ve supported me from day one at Brentford away in the cup, all the way through. Even when I’ve been out on loan, they’ve always backed me. They’ve always supported me regardless of what’s been happening or how we’ve been playing. To have that bond with them is special. I’ll never forget the feeling of running towards the Hammy End and hearing my name being shouted, hearing the fans roar.”
Bettinelli made 120 senior appearances for Fulham. We wish him all the very best for the rest of his career.