The last couple of seasons have been tough but, as he packed his bags to leave Tannadice for the last time, Sean Dillon says he wouldn’t have missed a minute of his 10 years at Dundee United.
As the Tele revealed on Thursday, after 346 appearances in tangerine, the club captain is leaving due to not being offered a new contract for next season.
But before his name is added to the list of past United greats, the Dubliner was determined to say thank you to the fans he’s grown to love over the last 10 years.
“Being a Dundee United player has been a very big and special part of my life,” he said.
“As everyone knows I’ve just had my testimonial year and one thing that reminded me of, was how many good people I’ve met here.
“From old managers like Craig Levein and Peter Houston to my past team-mates to club employees and volunteers, and even you Press boys, there were so many people willing to help.
“It was humbling to realise people thought enough of you to offer their help and I will never forget their kindness.
“But when I think Dundee United, the people I will always remember most are the fans. I know I had a spat with one at the end of the game at Hamilton on Sunday but I can’t think of another time anything like that happening.
“Don’t get me wrong, if I was having a bad game the punters would let me know, but they were always very good to me and wherever life takes me I will not forget that.”
Sad as he is at the thought his United days are over, Dillon, admits when he arrived from Shelbourne at the beginning of January 2007, he never imagined he’d still be in this area 10 years on.
“It was mentioned United were a family club who treated their staff well, but the way it was sold to the likes of myself and Jon Daly was it could be an important stepping stone in our careers.
“For a lot of boys it was, it’s just that for a variety of reasons I didn’t move.
“When clubs came in for me I had a good while left on my contract and when the club came to me to talk about a new deal it was always at times when I was settled and happy.
“And for most of my years here we have been a top-six team in the league and also reaching semis and finals in the cups, so it was a very easy choice to decide to remain part of that.
“That last couple of seasons have been more challenging and I am sorry I am not leaving with the club back in the Premiership.
“That really hurts and you could see on Sunday how disappointing that was.
“It has been hard but I still would not swap my time at United for anything.”
And Dillon does not rule out returning to Tannadice one day — as manager.
He stresses, though, such ambitions are for well in the future and his aim right now is to remain as a player somewhere else in the Scottish game.
“I’ve done a bit of coaching and enjoy it, so management is something I do see myself going into.
“If that meant returning to United one day I’d be delighted but, as well as the fact someone has to offer you the job, and you can’t just take it for yourself, it’s something I’m interested in but it’s way down the line.
“Old players always tell me there is nothing beats playing and to continue for as long as I can, so that’s my aim.
“Physically I’m still feeling good and I believe I can still do a good job at a high level.
“I’m going to spend the next few weeks speaking to people to see what might be out there for me.”