Marc Pugh said he has been left “humbled” by the flood of well-wishes after he left Bournemouth for Hull City after nine seasons and more than 300 appearances for the Cherries.
The midfielder, whose time at Dean Court saw Bournemouth’s ascendancy to the Premier League, has gone to The Tigers on loan until the end of the season.
Bournemouth chairman Jeff Mostyn said Pugh was “the ultimate professional, the perfect gentleman, an inspiration to everyone”, while club stalwart Steve Fletcher said he “tops the lot”.
Pugh, 31, said it had been a “privilege to be on this journey with everyone associated with the club”.
He wrote on Twitter: “It’s impossible to express in a tweet how grateful I am for the opportunities I was given at @afcbournemouth – wishing the club, staff and fans continued success in the future. Thank you for having me.”
“Feeling humbled by all the messages I’ve received,” he added.
Pugh said he was “absolutely delighted” to have signed for Championship side Hull, adding he had “really enjoyed my first training session and can’t wait to get started”.
A graduate of Burnley’s youth programme, Pugh spent two seasons in the senior team before spells at Bury, Shrewsbury Town and Hereford United.
He arrived on the south coast in 2010 and went on to make 312 appearances for the club.
Mostyn tweeted: “What more can add to the accolades bestowed upon @MarcPugh7 the ultimate professional, the perfect gentleman, an inspiration to everyone @afcbournemouth on what can be achieved with hard work, a true inspiration in the community.”
Fletcher tweeted: “30 yrs involved in football & of the hundreds of lads I’ve played with, played against or met along the way I can 100% say that @MarcPugh7 tops the lot.
“On & off the field he conducts himself in an impeccable manner & epitomises the words ‘True ‘Professional. Love, Big’n”