SIMON Stead will not ride for Swindon Robins for a fifth straight season after yesterday being told his services were not required for the 2013 campaign.

The Yorkshireman, a hugely popular figure at Blunsdon, has Elite and Premier League clubs interested in securing his signature but will remain a Swindon asset.

The 30-year-old struggled to capture his best form for the majority of 2012 and came close to being axed not long after his testimonial meeting at the Abbey Stadium in August, but kept his place.

The former captain went on to play a crucial role in the play-offs as Swindon defeated Birmingham in the semis and Poole in the final.

He tweeted yesterday: “Just been told Ive been released from Swindon,can't believe it.To the fans, thank u,u have been amazing.”

Robins boss Alun Rossiter admitted it had been tough to tell the ex-Coventry man he was not needed for next season.

“Steady has been very popular here but sometimes you have to make hard decisions,” said Rossiter.

“I've been in the same situation myself as a rider, unfortunately it happens.”