An emotional Carl Piergianni admitted that he was brought to tears after playing his final game for Boston United.
The Pilgrims defender has packed away his boots to go travelling after spending the past three seasons with the Pilgrims.
And the centre back admitted that it was the support from his teammates and fans which caused him to well up on Sunday, and not the manner of the club’s play-off semi-final exit at North Ferriby.
“It was a massive decision for me and it hurts me to be walking away,” Piergianni told The Standard.
“The fans were outstanding to me and have been in the three years I’ve been here.
“I’d like to thank everyone on a personal level, the management, fans and everyone.
“I thank the fans for everything, I’ve won awards thanks to them.
“They’ve spurred me on to win that extra header and they were outstanding, singing my name before and after the game brought tears to my eyes.
“Thank you everyone.”
Next week Piergianni will jet off to Thailand to spend time in Asia and Australia.
Not even a broken nose would keep him from Sunday’s play-off second leg, which saw the Villagers fight back from a 2-0 deficit to progress 3-2 on aggregate.
But he says that pain - caused by a clash of heads with teammate Scott Garner - was nothing compared to how it felt to miss out on promotion for the second season running.
“There’s no words to describe how that feels,” he added.
“It hurts and it’s devastating to go out like that. We weren’t good enough.
“I hope Boston can bounce back, I’ll be their biggest fan and look out for every game.”
Piergianni also believes that the cameraderie in the Jakemans Stadium dressing room will help United bounce back from their disappointment.
He continued: “The runs we’ve been on, especially the end of last season, was outstanding.
“I’ve enjoyed going into the dressing room every week with this bunch of lads.
“I honestly never thought you’d get such a close squad, they’re all my best pals.
“It hurts me so much to be saying bye to them for the last time. It’s hard to walk away.”