Noel Whelan admits his heart goes out to Lee Bowyer after Charlton Athletic were relegated by a celebratory Leeds United side on Wednesday.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists Elland Road was a “lonely place” for the Addicks’ boss on a night full of mixed emotions.

Leeds won 4-0 to round off their title-winning campaign in style but results elsewhere mean that Bowyer’s men were relegated to League One.

Whelan has revealed he texted the Addicks boss before the game and that he was left feeling for the 43-year-old as he watched his old side celebrate their Championship win.

Whelan told Football Insider: “It was a lonely place for Lee out there on that evening. Like you say, a contrast of emotions.

“I texted him before the game, obviously wishing him all the best, obviously I didn’t want Leeds to lose but I hoped the games went his way. 

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“I think he’s done a cracking job at Charlton, I really do – I know he’s got a soft spot for Leeds after his time there but it’s just the cruel world of football, unfortunately. I think it’s probably the last game he needed, to be quite honest.

“He said it himself, it was a gulf in class, it really was.” 

Leeds finished the season 10 points clear of second-placed West Brom after a 2-2 draw with QPR secured the Baggies’ place in the Premier League next season.

Charlton meanwhile ended the campaign one point and one place off safety.

In other Leeds United news, Alex Bruce has been left gobsmacked as the Whites prepare a groundbreaking contract offer.

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