Former Reading Academy defender Omar Richards has issued an emotional message to European giants Bayern Munich after joining Premier League newbies Nottingham Forest.

Left-back Richards played more than 100 times for the Royals before leaving to join the six-time European Cup winners in 2021 following the expiration of his contract.

READ MORE: Nottingham Forest sign Reading FC Academy star from Bayern

Playing back-up to Canada international Alphonso Davies, the London-born full-back made almost 30 appearances for the Bavarians before confirmation of his move to the City Ground over the weekend.

Speaking to the Munich fans on Instagram, he said: "Not an easy thing to do but it’s time to say goodbye to what has been my family for the past year. I felt very welcomed by the fans, players and staff from the very first day and I’m very appreciate of that. I’ve met some great people and shared special moments that will last with me forever."

He rounded off by saying: "It was an honour to fight and give my all for the badge at this special club - which feels like a home to me, there will always be a big place in my heart. I want to say a massive thank you to all the fans for their support since day 1 and i wish the club nothing but success in the future."

The Tricky Trees are embarking on their first top-tier season this century, with Richards joining fellow defender Neco Williams and striker Taiwo Awoniyi through the door in the East Midlands.

“I’m thrilled to return to England by joining Nottingham Forest at such an exciting time,” said Richards to the club website. “The club has enjoyed an incredible last few months and there’s great ambitions for the Premier League return.

“I’ve played against Forest in the past and they get such great backing from their fans, whilst the City Ground is an amazing place that I can now call home. I can’t wait to join up with the squad this week and begin preparations for the new season.”

Forest boss Steve Cooper added: "I’ve seen a lot of Omar through his time with Reading and, alongside our recruitment team, we have been following his progress in Germany.

“He previously established himself as one of the best full backs in the Championship, but has since gone on to experience the Champions League and the Bundesliga with one of the biggest clubs in the world.

“We believe that he can make a big impact in our return to the Premier League and are delighted that he has chosen to join us at Nottingham Forest.”