Tom Crawford says that he won't ever forget the support of Chester FC fans having completed a move to League Two side Notts County.
The 18-year-old Academy graduate penned a deal with Kevin Nolan's side on Wednesday night for an undisclosed fee, with the Magpies winning the battle for the talented midfielder's signature.
Having earned a professional deal last summer at Chester, Crawford spent loan spells with Runcorn Town and Leek Town before establishing himself in the Blues side at the turn of the year, making 17 appearances and netting once in the process.
His form, one of very few positives for Chester in a season of misery for the club, was rewarded with England C honours at the weekend.
And on his 19th birthday he completed a move to Meadow Lane.
"It was a very tough season," Crawford told the Chronicle. "One that nobody expected or thought would happen.
"But Chester is a massive club that I have no doubt in my mind will bounce back and I hope it’s next year. For myself, getting 17 games and a goal was special to me and I loved every minute.
"The Chester fans have been unbelievable, I’m so gutted with the way the season went for them. To have them every week, home and away, I've never seen anything like it. They are unique and special supporters that I had the privilege to play in front of and I won’t ever forget that."
One man who has been glowing in his praise of Crawford this season is Calum McIntyre .
The Academy head coach has had a close working relationship with Crawford since the teenager first arrived at the club as a 15-year-old after being released by Stoke City.
McIntyre's help and advice has transcended the training pitch and into everyday life, with the Academy head coach even helping Crawford when buying a new car, sorting out driving lessons and even trips to the dentist.
And that level of support has meant the world to Crawford.
He said: "I could be here all day on Calum, I really could. There aren’t enough positive things that I could say about him. But to have him by my side through everything I’ve done in my life has been incredible.
"Not even football things, day to day life situations he has guided me through and been a huge part of my life. He knows what I think about him and everyone can see how close we are. He’s not only made me a better player but also a better person."
And what of the future?
Clubs such as Norwich City, West Bromwich Albion, Fleetwood Town and even Rangers had been monitoring Crawford's progress, with the midfielder spending time with the Baggies earlier this year.
But it was Notts County who won the race for his signature, with their desire to bring him to the club a selling point for Crawford.
"Notts County stood out the most for me," said Crawford.
"Their intent and commitment in trying to get me in was a big point for me and the direction that the club is going in is also a big part, they are a huge football club which is very much playing in the wrong league.
"Kevin Nolan was an unbelievable player that played at the highest level as a midfielder so it’s exciting for me to get to work with him which will only make me improve."