Damien Duff has bid an emotional farewell to Fulham, but believes ‘it was the right time for everyone’ to move on.
After five years at Craven Cottage, Duff is to become a free agent at the end of his contract.
He leaves having made close to 200 appearances and with plenty of memories to look back on, including a Europa League final appearance and back-to-back top-half finishes in the Premier League.
Duff admits to having thoroughly enjoyed his time at Fulham, but accepts that it is now time for him to embark on a new challenge.
He told the club’s official website: “I think it was the right time for everyone, for me and the club, to part ways. It’s sad but that’s the way it is.
“I’ve matured as a person and a player at Fulham. Since I’ve been here I’ve got married, I’ve had two kids, so it’s been a special time in my life and I stand by what I’ve said before that my most enjoyable time in football has been at Fulham.
“I’ve had many a great night at the Cottage, whether it be European nights or Premier League games. It’s a wonderful place to play – I don’t think there’s any ground around like it, so it’s a special place.”
Duff’s final season ended on a low, with a knee injury ruling him out of action as Fulham suffered relegation out of the Premier League, but the former Republic of Ireland international leaves with no regrets.
He added: “All the bad emotions hit me in February when I kind of knew I wasn’t going to play again for Fulham, so I had my little cry then.
“It was my last day on Thursday so it was obviously sad saying goodbye to the people who I now call my friends for life. But I knew back in February that I’d played my last game for Fulham so that was a sad time as well.
“It’s been a big part of my life for five years – I’ve loved every minute of it at Fulham Football Club.
“It’s a great club but, as sad as it is to say, we deserved to go down. The table doesn’t lie, whether you win it or you go down, so I love the club but we are where we are.”